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Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do.
And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with
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#475406 - 09/12/11 01:47 PM Re: What's the latest on Jeris Bragan? [Re: olger]
John317 Offline

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 33718
Loc: near Loma Linda,CA
You might be interested in reading a fairly recent piece of writing by Jeris Bragan that appeared in Spectrum:


Jeris E. Bragan II - Sun, 05/08/2011 - 03:40

I respect people who, on religious or moral grounds, refuse to bar arms for any reason at any time.
I'm also glad they are not the majority.

i deeply admire President Obama for his deterination to find UBL and sending in the Seals to terminate this mass killer''s life. I have no problem with people cheering around the White House and singing the Star Spangled Banner. I wish I could have been there to share their joy that this monster is dead and gone.

We like to think our choices are between good vs evil. Sone choices are between worse and worser, like abortion. In 65 years of living, I'm still waiting to meet the person who is "pro-abortion.". There's no such animal. People choose/reject abortion for worse or worser reasons.

Without losing our idealism, most of us live in this real earthy world where God's hands are our own. We can duck & dodge, but the world cannot tolerate the continued existance of a mass murderer like UBL or those who want to pick up his torch.

Had he been captured, rather than executed on the spot, can you imagine the number of Americans around the world who would be kidnapped, tortured and killed? It's not a pretty picture to contemplate.

Nevertheless, I still sign off with the hope of...

Jeris E. Bragan

#475539 - 09/13/11 02:55 AM Re: What's the latest on Jeris Bragan? [Re: olger]
John317 Offline

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 33718
Loc: near Loma Linda,CA
Here are two letters that Jeris E. Bragan wrote this past June to the Spectrum:

Jeris E. Bragan II - Sun, 06/05/2011 - 00:13

First, I am solidly in support of ordaining qualified women. That this issue of justice and equality is still bouncing around leaves me baffled at times. At other times, I recognize the politics of the issue.

This issue will NEVER be resolved until the laity of the church makes a stand. Male pastors can't do it. If a collection of them try, they'll quickly be fired and marginalized by the power structure. I'm skeptical that a majority of ordained male pastors favor the ordination of women. Either they lack the courage as displayed by Bruce and some others, or they don't really want the competition for jobs.

In any event, the status of women pastors is not going to change unless the laity vote with their checkbooks. I'm skeptical that will ever happen because liberal/progressives would rather talk the subject to death than organize and do something about. Conservatives will fight tooth and nail to get what they want. They understand hardball politics and are quite happy to use any and all weapons to achieve their goals. Liberal/progressives don't appear to have the stomach for actually organizing and doing something about this issues.

Jeris E. Bragan

Jeris E. Bragan II - Sun, 06/05/2011 - 00:18

P.S. I haven't paid any tithe to the church since 1993. My wife and I use our tithe to help organizations that don't discriminate against women. We don't plan to support the church financially until the power structure changes it's position on the ordination of qualified women--or we drop dead!

Jeris E. Bragan


#475571 - 09/13/11 09:42 AM Re: What's the latest on Jeris Bragan? [Re: olger]
ClubV12 Offline
Extended Vacation

Registered: 05/20/09
Posts: 5738
Wow,,, lets all grab the pitch forks, somebody get the tar and feathers, time to take out the General Conference.

No wonder I deleted Spectrum from my list of favorite web sites.

#475843 - 09/14/11 01:38 PM Re: What's the latest on Jeris Bragan? [Re: olger]
John317 Offline

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 33718
Loc: near Loma Linda,CA
From Court record, the case of Jeris E. Bragan.

Dated 1995.

The appellant was retried in January, 1994 and was again found guilty of first-degree murder. He received a sentence of ninety-nine years in the Department of Correction.


The following proof was developed at the appellant's second trial in January 1994. In 1976, the appellant and Mr. George Urice were in the private investigation business in Chattanooga. The appellant was president and principal owner of a detective agency named Searchers, Inc., which employed Urice as an investigator. The appellant's wife, Darleen Whary Bragan, worked as a secretary and part-time investigator at the agency. The agency was located in Apartment 116 of the Stratford Apartments in Hixson. The appellant and his wife resided in an apartment located in the same complex. In the fall of 1976, the appellant and Urice contacted Phil Smartt, a local Mormon preacher and insurance salesman, concerning the purchase of a "key man" life insurance policy for the corporation. Eventually, Smartt issued a policy on the lives of both the appellant and Urice, with coverage of $100,000 for each individual. In the event of the accidental death of either party, the policy would pay $200,000. At the request of the appellant, Searchers, Inc. was designated the beneficiary of the policy. Bragan was covered immediately, but Urice's coverage, due to his age, was effective upon completion of a medical review. The policy became effective October 13, 1976.

The record indicates that Urice was unhappy with his business and personal relationship with the Bragans, and had expressed fear and distrust of the couple. On more than one occasion, he told his wife that he felt like the appellant was going to kill him for the insurance proceeds. He told Smartt, who doubled as Urice's minister, that the Bragans were "amoral." Also, his paycheck had bounced on several occasions, and he talked of seeking employment with other detective agencies in the area.

On the evening of November 22, 1976, Dwayne Pitts, an Emergency Medical Technician for Hamilton County, was dispatched to the office of Searchers, Inc. When he arrived, he found George Urice's body lying on the floor directly beneath a carpeted stairway, blocking the front door. Urice had injuries to the face and head, and his body was badly swollen. Splatters of blood were present on the floor and the walls at the bottom of the stairway. Pitts called the police, who arrived shortly thereafter.

Detectives with the Chattanooga Police Department inspected the scene, gathered evidence and took photographs. The detectives observed a broken tooth and fingernail on the stairwell, scuff marks on the wall at the top of the stairs, and what appeared to be blood on soap and a towel in the downstairs bathroom. They also noticed that the appellant had blood on his clothing, and that a chair with two broken legs was on the floor near the victim. The appellant told the detectives that he was not present when Urice was killed, but that Urice had been drunk and that he must have accidentally fallen down the stairs. He also told detectives that when he discovered the body, it was lying over a chair.

Sometime after the police arrived at the scene, the deputy coroner for Hamilton County arrived. The coroner, along with the police, noticed that the victim had indentations around his wrists, and a mark on his back in the pattern of handcuffs. The deputy coroner and detectives attached handcuffs to the victim's wrists, and held them up to his back. The indentations on the victim's wrists and the mark on his back perfectly matched the outline of the officer's handcuffs.

Later that evening, Detective William Dixon took the statement of the appellant at the police station. The appellant told Dixon that he and his wife had planned to fly to Washington D.C. on the night of the 22nd, and that Urice had agreed to drive them to the airport. According to the appellant, when he came to the office between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m., Urice was already there. The appellant's wife showed up a few minutes later, and the three of them stayed in the office until 12:30 p.m., discussing business and drinking coffee with brandy. The appellant told Dixon that at 12:30, they went to a local restaurant, where they ate lunch and had several drinks. They returned to the office around 2:30 p.m., where they talked and drank until 5:15 or 5:30 p.m.. At that time, the appellant and his wife left Urice at the office and went to their apartment to pack. According to the appellant's statement, they were out of cigarettes, so they went to a local restaurant to buy some. Sometime later, they returned to the office and found that the front door was blocked. The appellant told Dixon that he saw blood on the floor and the top of the victim's head, and, realizing that something was wrong, he went around to the back of the office, broke the sliding glass door with a tire iron, entered and found the body of the victim. He then moved the body to determine whether Urice was still alive. The appellant couldn't remember whether the body was lying over a chair. The appellant denied killing the victim, stating that he was his best friend and that the victim's wife was "the closest thing to a mother that his wife has." The appellant also stated that he did not see any handcuffs when he moved the body, and he could not recall the position of the body when he found it.

The appellant's wife at the time of the murder, Darleen Whary, testified for the State. *fn2 Whary testified that early in the fall of 1976, the appellant started discussing with her how he was going to kill Urice. According to her testimony, the appellant told Whary that he was going to kill Urice for the proceeds of the key man insurance policy and because he feared Urice. The appellant told her that he planned to get Urice drunk and push him down the stairs of the office, making it look like an accident. Whary testified that when she arrived at the office on November 22, 1976, the appellant and Urice were there. The three of them talked for awhile, then went to lunch at a local restaurant, where they had several drinks. They then drove back to the office. Whary testified that upon arriving at the office, the appellant went to check the mail, leaving Whary and Urice in the car. Shortly thereafter, the appellant joined Whary and Urice in the office. The three individuals then sat around in one of the upstairs offices and had more drinks. According to Whary's testimony, Urice was not drinking fast enough to suit the appellant, so the appellant urged him to drink. When Urice resisted, the appellant produced a gun and forced him to drink. When Urice again began to resist, the appellant had Whary hold the gun while he handcuffed Urice behind his back and poured scotch into his mouth and forced him to drink. According to Whary, at some point after this, the appellant placed gauze in Urice's mouth and adhesive tape over his mouth, and began "talking mean and ugly to him, like you do someone that you're trying to humiliate or dehumanize." The appellant then got up and led Urice to top of the stairs. Whary testified that at this point, she went downstairs into the kitchen. The next thing she heard was "a crash and a thud." She then went into the entrance area of the office where she saw Urice lying in a crumpled heap on his right side at the bottom of the stairs. The appellant was standing over Urice. Whary testified that the appellant determined that Urice was still alive by checking his pulse, then retrieved a nightstick from a supply closet and "held it up to [Urice's] throat until there was no more air."

Whary testified that after killing Urice, the appellant said "now we have to go and be seen some place so people will see us during this time, and we have to get rid of these handcuffs and nightstick." According to Whary, they then drove toward Chickamauga Lake. On the way, Whary, at the request of the appellant, threw the nightstick into some weeds by the side of the road. The appellant then threw the handcuffs into Chickamauga Lake. After disposing of the handcuffs, the appellant and Whary drove to Denny's restaurant, where Whary entered and bought a pack of cigarettes. Whary testified that they then proceeded to the office and pretended to discover Urice's body. The appellant then broke a chair to make it look like Urice was carrying a chair downstairs and fell down the steps. According to Whary's testimony, the appellant removed the tape and gauze from the victim's mouth, moved the body to deceive the coroner and called paramedics.

Whary testified that she did not know what exactly occurred between the appellant and Urice at the top of the stairs. On cross-examination, Whary testified that she never saw the appellant strike a blow to Urice's head.

Elizabeth Teal Sizer-Haven testified that she lived at the Stratford Apartments, next door to the appellant's office, in 1976. She was sixteen at the time. She testified that at 6:00 p.m. on November 22, 1976, she heard loud sounds from the upstairs portion of the appellant's office. A few minutes later she heard a loud thud or crash coming from the bottom of the stairwell of the appellant's office. At 6:15, she heard the sliding glass door of the appellant's office "hitting and closing really loud." Another resident of the Stratford Apartments at the time testified that around 6:15 or 6:30 on the 22nd, she saw the appellant running around the back of the building with something in his hand. Also, the testimony of the apartment manager at the time of the killing from the 1977 trial was read into the record. The manager testified that at 4:00 or 4:30, she saw a gray-haired man and the appellant's wife get out of a car and go into the appellant's office. *fn3

Dr. George Beckmann, county coroner and county medical examiner for Hamilton County in 1976 testified that a post-mortem examination of Urice was conducted the day after he was killed. Dr. Beckmann testified that Urice had a laceration approximately one and one-half inches long over his left eye, a cut lower lip on the right side of his mouth, contusions around his left eye, multiple contusions and bruising of the head and neck, depression marks from some sort of restraint on both wrists, and an imprint of a handcuff on his back. Dr. Beckmann testified that the victim had liver mortis from the back of his neck to the upper buttocks of his back, meaning that the body had been lying on its back for forty-five minutes to an hour after death. He testified further that the handcuff impressions on the victim's wrists occurred before death, and the imprint on his back occurred after death. The victim was also missing a front incisor, and the gum was still raw in the place where it had been located. Dr. Beckmann testified further that the victim had a large fracture of the skull (four and-a-half inches) over the right parietal area and a marked edema (swelling) to the brain. According to Dr. Beckmann, the victim died as a result of a severe beating to the head and the edema of the brain that resulted from the injuries. He testified that the appellant had received at least four or five blows to the head. Beckmann performed a blood alcohol test, which revealed that the victim had a blood-alcohol content of .23 percent. Finally, Dr. Beckmann testified that the head injuries could not have been caused by a fall down the carpeted stairs in the appellant's office. According to Dr. Beckmann, the only injuries consistent with a fall down those particular stairs were the cut lip and missing tooth.

As part of its case in chief, the prosecution read into the record the 1976 lab reports of two forensic scientists from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The first report revealed that blood on the appellant's clothes matched the victim's blood, that tests on the bathroom towel, nightstick and handcuffs gathered at the scene indicated the presence of human bloodstaining, but the samples were insufficient for further tests, and that there was no indication of bloodstaining on the soap from the office bathroom. The second report revealed that the fingernail found on the stairs of the office was a female fingernail, and that there was no evidence of breaking or tearing of the fingernail.

The defense offered the theory that it was not the appellant, but the appellant's wife, Darleen Whary, who committed the murder. Several witnesses testified in furtherance of this theory. Rick Sharp testified that he was acquainted with the Bragans and had worked for Searcher's Inc. in 1975-76. After the appellant's conviction, Sharp had become close friends with the appellant through his work with the prison ministry of a Chattanooga area church. Sharp testified that he had a date with Whary shortly after the first trial, while Whary was free on appeal bond. Sharp testified that during their date, Whary related the following account of what transpired on the date of Urice's killing. Whary and Urice were alone in the office after lunch. Urice was drunk, and the two of them started arguing. Whary pushed Urice, who fell and hit his head on a chair. While he was in a semi-conscious state, Whary handcuffed him. She was directing him towards the stairs when he tripped and fell to his death. Sharp testified further that in the fall of 1982, he visited Whary at the state prison for women in Nashville. According to Sharp, during the visit he asked her why she wouldn't tell the truth and let the appellant go free. Whary allegedly became angry at this suggestion, stated that the appellant deserved to be in prison, and "patted down" Sharp for "wires". On cross-examination, Sharp admitted that he had visited Whary in prison at the appellant's request.

The appellant testified in his own defense. He testified that after returning from lunch on the date of the murder, he left his wife and Urice at the office, went to his apartment and fell asleep on the couch. Around 5:00 p.m., he was awakened by his wife, who told him that Urice had fallen down the stairs and was dead. According to the appellant, he then ran down to the office and went in through the sliding glass door in the back. He walked into the living room and saw Urice at the bottom of the stairs. He went to check the victim for a pulse, and discovered that he was handcuffed. The appellant testified that at this point he lifted the appellant's body and removed the handcuffs. He then started to call for medical assistance but was stopped by his wife. According to the appellant, he asked his wife what had happened and she said that Urice was drunk and had approached her from behind and grabbed her breasts and crotch. She had pushed him away, and he had fallen backwards and hit his head on a chair. The appellant testified that Whary told him that she then handcuffed Urice, and led him to the stairs, where he tripped and fell. The appellant admitted that he broke the chair to make it look like an accident and disposed of the handcuffs and nightstick, although he stated that he threw both items into Chickamauga Lake. The appellant testified that he concealed evidence, lied to the police and lied in the first trial in order to "protect his family," and, because of a condition of hypoglycemia, it was difficult for him to think.

In his testimony, the appellant admitted that he had been found guilty of wiretapping, a federal offense, in 1972.

For the original source and the rest of the information, see link:

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