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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

DPS continues to investigate Gray death as murder

Sunday, August 22, 2010

SIKESTON -- Although a grand jury declined to charge a Miner teen with murder in connection with a hit-and-run death, the Sikeston Department of Public Safety continues to investigate it as one.

"We still consider this as a murder investigation," said Chief Drew Juden, director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. "We do not feel in any way that this was an accident."

Juden said that since news broke Tuesday of a Scott County grand jury declining to return charges of second-degree murder and second-degree assault against Brianna M. Branson, 17, of Miner, he and other members in the department have heard "a lot of discussion in the community about their dissatisfaction with the outcome from the grand jury."

Branson is accused of killing Kendra Gray, 18, after hitting her with a truck July 24.

The department continues to investigate the incident, and Juden said anyone with information is encouraged to come forward.

"Murder investigations do not have a statute of limitations, so therefore, this case will always remain open," said Juden.

He also noted that, as the case has not been tried before a jury, the same charges can be filed with any new evidence, or a simple review. "There is a chance that something was missed by the prosecutor or the grand jury," said Juden.