On Tuesday, November 2nd in Jackson County Circuit Court, Judge Rob Ratton sentenced Thomas Brannon, Jr., 33, of Newport to 175 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on multiple felony charges, including Rape and Pandering/Possession of Child Pornography.

The State of Arkansas was represented by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Pettie and his team, who focus on sexual assault and child victim cases in the 3rd Judicial District. The charges stemmed from a multiagency investigation including the exceptional efforts of the Arkansas State Police and Newport Police Department, with the invaluable assistance of the Crimes Against Children Division.

The case initially began with the collection of digital evidence from Brannon’s electronic devices by the Arkansas State Police after a cyber tip. Brannon’s spouse, Heather Brannon, previously plead guilty to a 35-year sentence for permitting sexual abuse on September 28, 2021, in the same courtroom. Thomas Brannon’s sentencing brings to a close a heart-breaking and shocking chapter in the fight against sexual abuse of children in the 3rd District, and it is the hope of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that the survivors will go on to lead fulfilling lives in the absence of these child predators.

Brannon’s wife was convicted in September and sentenced to 35 years for her role in the crimes.

Original Article from September 2021:

3rd Judicial Prosecutor Ryan Cooper announced that Judge Rob Ratton sentenced Heather Brannon, age 35, of Newport, to thirty-five years (35) in the Arkansas Department of Correction for Permitting the Abuse of a Minor and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.  
Mr. Cooper stated that the evidence was collected by the Arkansas State Police and the Newport Police Department and was presented to the Court by Sexual Assault Prosecutor John Pettie.  
The case began with an investigation into sexual abuse committed by the defendant’s husband, Thomas Brannon and lead to evidence of her complicity in the crimes.
 Thomas Brannon has been charged with multiple counts of Rape as well as charges relating to child pornography and is scheduled for trial November 2, 2021.
Mr. Pettie expressed his appreciation for the continued hard work of the agencies that compiled the case that allowed the defendant to be brought to justice.

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