18 Charges by Former Volusia Deputy Dismissed by Prosecutors
This February, the State Attorney’s Office dismissed charges in 18 cases, which all depended on the testimony of former Volusia County deputy John Braman. Braman is currently under investigation for allegations of theft committed against individuals he arrested.
The charges dropped included drunk driving, driving without a license, battery on a law enforcement officer, no motorcycle endorsement on a driver’s license, and possession of cannabis under 20 grams. These pending cases required Braman’s testimony to prove guilt, but given his questionable credibility, the State Attorney’s Office decided to drop these pending cases.
After investigators found footage from Braman’s body camera, which showed him taking 2 hundred dollar bills from the wallet of a man he arrested on a DUI charge last August, the video was turned over to the State Attorney’s Office, prompting Braman’s resignation.
A woman stated she was missing $400 after Braman arrested her for driving under the influence. “I know I had money on me. No matter if I was drinking or not, I know what I had,” she said. Despite having already pleaded no contest and being adjudicated guilty, the charges against her were dropped, which is uncommon for prosecutors in such cases.
“But these circumstances are not usual when you have a deputy that is dishonoring the badge and committing theft on people,” said defense attorney John Hager.
This marks quite the fall for Braman who was previously recognized for his bravery in 2011, when he and another deputy were shot, but were still able to disarm and arrest the shooter. Sheriff Mike Chitwood, who described Braman as a “thieving idiot,” said he would melt Braman’s badge, which is a tradition among law enforcement for disgracing this honorable occupation.
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