Bio & Incident Details
Tour: Not available
Badge # Not available
Weapon: Handgun; .22 caliber
Offender: Died in prison
Officer Branscome and Officer East were shot and killed when they stopped a vehicle occupied by four men wanted for armed robbery. The suspects had robbed two Forsyth County service stations, one in Winston-Salem, the other in Rural Hall. One suspect used a 22 caliber pistol to shoot both officers, then obtained Officer East's service weapon (38 caliber) and shot each officer again. The suspects were arrested in Winston-Salem a short time later.
The gunman was convicted of two counts of murder and received two death sentences on November 21, 1969. His sentence was commuted to two life prison sentences when the Supreme Court ruled all death sentences unconstitutional in 1972. He died in prison December 14, 2011.
The other three suspects received 10 years each for accessory to murder and an additional 30 to 40 years for armed robbery on November 21, 1969. One of the three was released from prison on July 18, 1985. Another one was released on November 24, 1992, and sent back to prison for 10 years on June 5, 2001, for armed robbery.
Officer Branscome was survived by his wife, Estelle; sons Mike and Terry; and daughter, Von.
Related Line of Duty Deaths
Patrolman Ralph East