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Teen That Killed Rod and Paula Bramblett in 2019 Car Crash, Now Jailed on Charges of Possession of Child Porn

The teenager charged in the auto crash that killed Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett, and his wife, Paula – is back behind bars.

Johnston Edward Taylor, now 19 was placed under arrest Thursday (June 16th) after being charged with six counts of felony Possession of Child Pornography.

Auburn Police and the Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force joined forces to launch an investigation June 7th.  It was announced later that same night by Assistant Chief Clarence Stewart that Taylor had been developed as a suspect and he was arrested and charged following a search warrant and the collection of evidence,  Taylor was booked into the Lee County Jail with bond set at $60,000.  No additional details about the alleged crimes have yet been made public.

Taylor was charged with manslaughter in the May 25, 2019 deaths of the Brambletts.

It was just after 6:00pm on that Saturday, when the Brambletts were killed.  Taylor – then a 16-year-old Lee Scott Academy student was traveling south in the outside lane on Shug Jordan Parkway approaching West Samford Avenue in his Jeep Laredo.  The Brambletts, who were in a 2017 Toyota Highlander, were stopped in the outside southbound lane at a traffic light.  The Jeep struck the Bramblett’s SUV to the right of center, according to the crash report.  The impact caused the Jeep to hit a pedestrian and a traffic light pole before coming to a final rest – and the Bramblett’s vehicle was pushed into the intersection and through the opposing lanes of traffic before coming to a final rest on the curb.

According to records – Taylor’s “blood sample contained THC – which is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, and is indicative of recent usage of marijuana at the time of the collision,”  The teenager was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.  Paula Bramblett, age 53, was airlifted from the scene but had to be diverted to the East Alabama Medical Center due to the severity of her injuries, where she was pronounced dead in the emergency room from multiple internal injuries.

Meanwhile, Rod Bramblett, 52, who was the driver of the Highlander, was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where he later died from a closed head injury.  At the time of the crash, Taylor was driving 89 in a 55-mph zone, under the influence of marijuana, and still accelerating, authorities said, when he rammed into the back of the couple’s SUV.

A judge in April, 2021 granted Taylor “youthful Offender” status in the manslaughter cases.  Lee County Circuit Judge P.B. McLauchlin, a retired judge handling the case, in his order said, “At the time of the accident the defendant was a 16-year-old teenager with no prior criminal history, who had smoked or used marijuana and had been diagnosed with marijuana use disorder; None of this justifies what happened; however, it does lend itself to treatment as a Youthful Offender.”

The youthful offender status eliminates a jury trial, if there is a trial, and the range of punishment goes from two to 20 years had he been tried as an adult to zero to three years maximum.

Youth offender cases are sealed, so the outcome of that case is not made public.

(AL,COM/www.al.com)

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