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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Three defendants in Shawnee murder case waive hearing

  • Three defendants charged with first-degree murder for the 2011 beating death of a homeless Shawnee man waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday and now have their cases set for arraignment.
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  • Three defendants charged with first-degree murder for the 2011 beating death of a homeless Shawnee man waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday and now have their cases set for arraignment.
    The three are charged in the death of Alan Wade Branscum, 54, a native of Arkansas who was living homeless in Shawnee when he died.
    He was found murdered Aug. 6, 2011, under the Beard Street Bridge in the 800 block of South Beard.
    Until this past summer, that homicide was unsolved. On the two-year anniversary of Branscum's death in August, police were pursuing a new lead based on a tip, which developed into police piecing together information after talking with several people. That tip led to the arrest of three suspects who also were formally charged in August.
    Charged in Pottawatomie County District Court are Leland Dale Blanchard Jr., 19, of Shawnee, Keenan Allen Thorpe, 23, of McLoud, and Anthony Neal Wood, 21, Shawnee.
    All three were scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday, where a judge determines if there’s enough evidence for a case to proceed to trial. All three waived that hearing.
    Thorpe and Wood are now scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 29; Blanchard is scheduled for the Feb. 19 court docket.
    The defendants are accused of unlawfully, and with malice aforethought, striking Branscum multiple times in the head, face and body, the charge shows. The state medical examiner ruled Branscum died of blunt force trauma.
    According to the arrest warrants in the case, a witness reported he allegedly saw three suspects beating on a man. The suspects were allegedly at the river to drink alcohol when they first encountered Branscum sleeping under the bridge, the affidavit shows. A witness later heard loud screaming and cursing as some type of altercation was occurring.
    All three remain jailed without bond in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center.
    Watch for updates.
     
     
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