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DUSTIN COOK PLEADS GUILTY TO MULTIPLE FELONIES

July 18, 2014

DUSTIN C. COOK (d/o/b 2-15-1979), of Reeds Spring, Missouri, pleaded guilty on Thursday, July 17, 2014, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, to four felonies: two (2) counts of tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree, two (2) counts of assault on a law enforcement officer in the second degree, and one (1) count of burglary in the second degree. Senior Judge Carr Woods accepted the plea and scheduled sentencing for September 18, 2014. At sentencing, the defendant will be sent to the Missouri Department of Corrections for ten (10) years on each of the five (5) counts, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

The burglary charge – and one of the tampering charges – arose from an incident in Forsyth, on November 14, 2013. Late that night, the defendant and three other individuals smashed a window at Mobile Express, entered the business, and stole cash along with several vehicles. An investigation by the Forsyth Police Department, with the assistance of Branson police officers, led to the arrest of the defendant the next day. During an interview with detectives, the defendant confessed that he and his accomplices had burglarized the business and stolen the vehicles.

About six weeks later, the defendant stole a pickup truck in Branson. When Branson police officers located and attempted to detain him, the defendant drove the stolen truck at the officers. In the process, he nearly ran over one officer and narrowly avoided a collision with a patrol car occupied by another officer. After a short vehicle pursuit, in which the defendant drove at a high-rate-of-speed through a residential yard, he crashed the truck and attempted to flee from police on foot. Officers discovered the defendant hiding behind a residence. A handgun was found a short distance away, and the defendant later admitted he had been armed during his attempt to elude law enforcement. This incident led to the defendant being charged with tampering in the first degree and two (2) counts of assault on a law enforcement officer in the second degree.

All of the charges from these incidents are class C felonies. Ordinarily, class C felonies carry a maximum prison term of seven (7) years. However, because Cook was charged as a prior and persistent felony offender, the maximum possible prison terms on his charges were enhanced to fifteen (15) years.

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OZARK MAN SENTENCED TO SEVEN (7) YEARS FOR ASSAULT ON OFFICER

July 18, 2014

On Thursday, July 17, 2014, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, LEAVY B. BRAWDY, d/o/b 5-28-1985, of Ozark, Missouri, entered a plea of guilty to the felony of assaulting a law enforcement officer in the second degree. Brawdy was sentenced by Senior Judge Carr Woods to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the class C felony, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

On the morning of October 28, 2013, Brawdy was found at Blansit Road and Highway 160, asleep in a stolen SUV. Officers with the Taney County Sheriff’s Office attempted to contact Brawdy, at which time Brawdy started the SUV and accelerated in the direction of officers. One officer jumped out of the path of the speeding SUV, narrowly escaping serious injury. Brawdy evaded officers from multiple agencies, eventually parking the SUV and fleeing on foot through the woods. He was taken into custody the next day by Rockaway Beach Police. Assaulting a law enforcement officer in the second degree is a class C felony, which carries a maximum punishment of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine.

Other felony counts against Brawdy were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Brawdy was already a convicted felon.

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BRYAN SENT TO PRISON ON TEN (10) YEAR SENTENCES

July 16, 2014

JOHNNY D. BRYAN, II, a/k/a JOHNNY DELL BRYAN, JR., (d/o/b 03-08-1976) of Forsyth, Missouri, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, June 16, 2014, in the Circuit Court of Stone County, to felony charges of resisting a lawful stop, assault on a law enforcement officer in the second degree, armed criminal action, and tampering with a motor vehicle. Associate Circuit Judge Alan Blankenship – hearing the case on a change of venue – sentenced Bryan to ten (10) years for the offenses of assault of a law enforcement officer in the second degree, armed criminal action, and tampering with a motor vehicle, and to seven (7) years for resisting arrest – all as a prior and persistent felony offender. Bryan’s sentences will run concurrently with one another and were the result of a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.

The charges stem from a December 6, 2012 incident in which deputies with the Taney County Sheriff’s Office were attempting to serve Bryan with an outstanding arrest warrant. When contacted by the deputies while he was sleeping in a stolen vehicle, Bryan started the vehicle, and attempted to back over the deputies. Bryan fled the scene and led several law enforcement agencies on a high speed chase – including the Taney and Christian County Sheriff’s Departments – with speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, along U.S. Highway 65, north into Christian County. Bryan eventually dumped the vehicle and fled on foot. He was captured several days later following a standoff at a home in Powersite, Missouri.

Assault on a law enforcement officer in the second degree and tampering with a motor vehicle are class C felonies, ordinarily carrying a maximum prison term of seven (7) years. Resisting a lawful stop, as charged in Bryan’s case, is a class D felony, ordinarily carrying a maximum prison term of four (4) years. However, because Bryan was charged as a prior and persistent felony offender, the maximum possible prison terms on his charges were enhanced to fifteen (15) years on the C felonies and seven (7) years on the D felony. Armed Criminal Action carries a minimum sentence of three (3) years in prison with no maximum.

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COUNTERFEIT CASH GETS NICHOLS FIVE (5) YEARS IN PRISON

July 11, 2014

BRADLEY J. NICHOLS (d.o.b. 2-17-1979), of Branson, pleaded guilty on Thursday, July 10, 2014, to one count of the class C felony Forgery, for passing counterfeit cash to several local businesses in Branson in 2013. Visiting Senior Judge Carr Woods sentenced Nichols to five (5) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the offense, pursuant to a plea agreement.

Branson Police were called to the Rowland Motel, on Main Street, in July of 2013, by motel managers who had received counterfeit five dollar bills from a tenant. The investigation led to a tenant of Rowland Motel who told Officer Mitchell Null about Nichols using a computer and printer to create fake five dollar bills in another room of the motel. Once contacted by Officer Null, Nichols confessed to creating counterfeit bills, and gave the evidence over to police.

“This is a great example of how area motels should cooperate with Branson Police,” said Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell. “Thanks to the willingness of the Rowland Motel employees to call the police, the spread of fake money throughout our community was stopped.”

“This is, yet another, great investigation by the Branson Police Department that limited the damage caused by a criminal enterprise.”

Forgery is a class C felony, in Missouri, carrying a maximum prison sentence of seven (7) years and a $5,000.00 fine.

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