Man shot by homeowner charged with burglary

WINCHESTER – A man seriously wounded during an alleged home invasion Thursday morning in Winchester has been released from the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville and charged with burglary.

Authorities have identified the defendant as Justin Allen Brannon, 26, of Winchester. He has been held without bond at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail since his release from the hospital late Friday.

Brannon was shot in the head and arm during what law enforcement officials described as a forced entry into a residence at 746 Kline’s Mill Road just before 4 a.m. Thursday.

A news release from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said he was making threats toward the residents inside, and one of them called 911 to have him removed.

The news release states that Brannon, whose last known address is 324 Cross Creek Lane, Winchester, forced his way into the home through a rear door. The homeowner shot Brannon twice with a .38-caliber revolver after the defendant entered, the authorities say.

A search warrant filed in Frederick County Circuit Court states that Brannon, described in the search warrant as “injured but still combative,” managed to grab the gun from the homeowner during an ensuing struggle.

Capt. Donnie Lang of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said deputies who had arrived at the scene managed to force a quick resolution to the confrontation.

“From what I understand, the deputy who was in the house gave him a couple of verbal commands, and he dropped the weapon,” Lang said of Brannon.

The search warrant states that the incident began with a 911 call from a woman who said Brannon threatened to kill her sister. The 911 caller’s sister is described in the search warrant documents as Brannon’s former girlfriend.

The search warrant quotes Brannon as threatening “to slit all of their throats before he goes to jail.”

The search warrant also states that the 911 caller’s sister “locked herself in the bathroom of the home being in fear for her life.”

Capt. Donnie Lang of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said authorities are still examining cell phone data obtained through the search warrant. The phone was found on the kitchen floor of the home.

Lang said no charges will be filed against the homeowner who shot Brannon. Court documents show that Brannon is scheduled to be returned to Frederick County on Friday.

Other court records show that Brannon was convicted three years ago in Frederick County Circuit Court of offering wildlife for sale, an offense that involved trying to sell an alligator to an undercover agent from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The criminal complaint in the wildlife sale case states that Brannon told the undercover agent that his criminal record included 36 felonies in West Virginia. Those crimes led to a term in prison where Brannon said he was charged with malicious wounding, the criminal complaint states.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com