Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Man pleads guilty to 1989 murder

The Associated Press

        OWENTON — A man who told police he killed an Owenton woman 12 years ago pleaded guilty Tuesday to her murder.

        Keith A. Bramblett of Corinth, who police say confessed to killing Lawanda Sue Raines, could have faced life in prison if he went to trial. Instead, Mr. Bramblett took a deal with prosecutors for a prison sentence of 40 years.

        The 34-year-old pleaded guilty in Owen Circuit Court to murder, tampering with

        evidence and being a persistent felony offender. He will be sentenced Sept. 25.

        Mr. Bramblett admitted earlier this year, after he was detained on unrelated charges, to killing the 32-year-old Ms. Raines. Those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

        Mr. Bramblett told police he had bludgeoned Ms. Raines to death with a spike ring after they left a party together, but preliminary forensic reports said Ms. Raines was shot in the head. She was reported missing by her family May 22, 1989.

        David Tomlin, an older brother of Ms. Raines, said Monday that he and other family members decided they didn't want to relive the pain of their sister's killing through a trial. They also feared that Mr. Bramblett would receive a lesser charge from a jury. His trial had been scheduled for next week.

        “What happens if they get him off on manslaughter? Who knows?” Mr. Tomlin said. “We didn't want to take that chance. We want to put our sister to rest.”


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- Man pleads guilty to 1989 murder