MURDER USA Drug dealer Robert Tywaughn Branson shot dead by his pal Brian Pierce in Labor Day festivities
INDIAN HEAD – Sought by Charles County Detectives for murder, Brian Douglas Pierce turned himself in the day after he blasted two friends with a gun.
Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry reports that on Sept. 4, 2017, at approximately 1:56 p.m., officers responded to 6065 Port Tobacco Road in Indian Head for the report of a shooting in which two men had been shot.
Before arrival, officers learned the victims fled on foot. The shooting victims didn’t get too far. Sheriff Berry reports that Officers and paramedics located the victims about 500 yards away from where the shooting occurred and administered first aid; however, one of the victims, Robert Tywaughn Branson, 39, of Indian Head, died on the scene.
The other victim, 42, of Indian Head, was transported to a hospital in serious condition. The initial investigation revealed the homeowner, Brian Douglas Pierce, 35, shot the victims, both of whom he knew, outside his house.
After the shooting, Pierce fled in his car, which was found abandoned on Friendship Landing Road in Nanjemoy by a K9 officer canvassing the area.
With the assistance of officers and support teams from the Maryland State Police, MSP Trooper 2, Virginia State Police, Department of Natural Resources Police, and the Prince George’s County Police Department, a perimeter was established, and officers conducted a search, but Pierce was not located. Sheriff Berry reports that Pierce turned himself in on Sept. 5, 2017, at 7:30 a.m. at the Sheriff’s La Plata District Station.
Pierce was charged by Detective Elliott with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault and other related charges. A motive is not immediately clear. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Det. J. Elliott at (301) 609-6515.
Pierce was charged by Charles County States Attorney Anthony Covington on Sept. 1, 2013, with possession of drugs and paraphernalia. In a plea deal on Feb. 11, 2014, Pierce entered a guilty plea to the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and the drug possession charge was dropped. THE DEAL: No fine and no time. A related traffic charge of driving with alcohol in his blood in violation of a restriction was dropped as part of the plea deal with Covington. A charge by Charles County Sheriff’s Officer Squirewell that Pierce was operating a 2009 Honda while DUI was part of the plea deal. THE DEAL: in return for a guilty plea, Pierce was sentenced to jail for one year with eleven months suspended.
A plea deal was reached on another DUI charge on Jan. 19, 2012 between Covington and Pierce. THE DEAL: in exchange for a guilty plea, Pierce was fined $350 and no jail time. Covington made the plea deal with Pierce on charges of DUI, reckless driving, and violation of restriction of driving with alcohol in his blood filed by Charles County Officer Bourgeois. THE DEAL: represented by attorney Joseph Vallario, Pierce entered a plea of guilty to the reckless driving charge and the other charges were dropped by Covington on Jan. 19, 2012.
While Pierce doesn’t appear to have been previously charged with murder prior to his Labor Day shooting spree, he did rack up yet another DUI conviction on April 20, 2004, when he entered a guilty plea to DUI. THE DEAL: Pierce was sentenced to one year in jail and a $500 fine and five years of probation.
From his record, it is clear that Pierce has been trying to commit murder by DUI on Maryland highways for decades.
Robert Tywaughn Branson, of 3455 Medway Street, one of the shooting victims and the one who was pronounced dead at the scene, was indicted by the Charles County Circuit Court Grand Jury on Nov. 4, 2016, on three counts of drug dealing. On June 6, 2017, a plea deal with Charles County States Attorney Anthony Covington was reached by Melvin Louis Allen Jr., an attorney with the firm of James F. Farmer in Waldorf. THE DEAL: Two of the drug dealing charges were dropped, and Branson entered a guilty plea to distribution of drugs. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 13, 2017, in Circuit Court. The planned deal, which may have included Branson giving prosecutors evidence on other drug dealers in order to achieve a lenient sentence as well as the other charges dropped, may never be known. Or, such a deal with prosecutors may have been a motive for his murder, allegedly by Pierce.
Branson was charged with numerous traffic citations by Maryland Trooper Truelove including attempting to elude a police officer. On July 12, 2016, Covington placed the charge on the Stet Docket.
Branson entered a guilty plea to drug dealing in Charles County Circuit Court on Jan. 11, 2007. Branson was able to avoid trouble for a number of years as the plea deal called ten years in prison.