LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - An investigation into an armed robbery that occurred on Jan. 3 resulted in the Livingston Police Department arresting three people on a variety of felony charges related to crimes in two different counties.
Two of the suspects allegedly fled an attempted traffic stop by Livingston police officers and threw stolen guns out the vehicle during the chase.
All three suspects are still being held in the Polk County Jail. Hunter Branam, 23, of Livingston, was charged with two aggravated robbery charges out of Walker County, evading arrest with a vehicle, tampering with or fabricating evidence, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and theft of a firearm. Collectively, his bond amount was set at $265,000 for the charges.
The charges for Hayden Niel Sanford, 18, of Livingston include two counts of aggravated robbery. His collective bond amount has been set at $100,000.
Christa Marque Branam, 24, of Livingston, was charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, evading arrest in a vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm by a felon, and theft of a firearm. Her collective bond amount has been set at $90,000.
According to a press release, Livingston police officers responded to a 911 call about a robbery that had just occurred in the Pine Hill Apartments parking lot at about 1:33 a.m. on Jan. 3. The LPD officers found the victim, who had suffered injuries as a result of the robbery, at the scene.
The victim told police that the two suspects were in a red Dodge four-door truck, the press release stated. The victim allegedly told police he had been standing at the passenger’s side of the pickup when the passenger pointed a pistol at him and demanded money and “everything on his person.”
At that point, the victim ran away on foot and was injured after he fell into a glass window, the press release stated. An ambulance took the victim to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, and he was later released.
During the subsequent investigation, the Livingston Police Department identified the driver of the red Dodge pickup as Stanford.
Later, the department was contacted by the Huntsville Police Department and informed that HPD detectives were in the process of investigating a home-invasion robbery involving several suspects in a red Dodge pickup. Those suspects were identified as Stanford and Hunter Branam, the press release stated.
The two law enforcement agencies started working together. Later, they learned that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was also investigating the same two suspects because they were believed to have been involved in two other home-invasion robberies out in the county.
The Livingston and Huntsville police departments were able to obtain aggravated robbery arrest warrants for Stanford and Hunter Branam.
After Stanford was taken into custody, the Livingston Police Department learned that some of the stolen property was in a motel room in Livingston that had been rented by Hunter Branam, the press release stated. The motel room was secure, and LPD detectives obtained a search warrant from District Judge Kaycee Jones.
While the motel room was being watched, Hunter Branam allegedly came back to the motel in a dark-colored vehicle. He picked up a backpack that had been hidden on the property, the press release stated.
After the vehicle left the motel “in a hurry,” a Livingston police officer tried to make a traffic stop on it. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and led officers on a high-speed chase. During the chase, objects were thrown from the moving vehicle, the press release stated.
Eventually, the Livingston Police Department was able to stop the vehicle. Hunter Branam and the driver, who was identified as Christa Branam, were arrested at the scene, the press release stated.
The objects thrown from the vehicle turned out to be stolen guns, the press release stated.
After a search warrant was served at the motel room that had been rented by Hunter Branam, the Livingston Police Department recovered more stolen property, along with illegal narcotics, the press release stated.
According to the press release, Hunter Branam had just recently been released from prison and is currently on parole until November of this year.
“These investigations will continue with the Huntsville Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and more arrests and charges are expected as the investigation continues,” the press release stated.