Archive for Friday, August 16, 1996

VICTIM HAD CHECKERED PAST

August 16, 1996

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Onzie A. Branch, the man who was fatally shot outside a Lawrence nightclub early Thursday, had been in and out of jail and prison since 1991.

According to the Shawnee County District Attorney's office, Branch, 24, Topeka, was convicted in 1991 of indecent liberties with a child.

He was sentenced on March 5, 1992, to a three- to 15-year prison term. Branch remained at Lansing State Prison until July 3, when he was released. He was granted parole in February.

After being released from prison, Branch served at least one other short period of time in the Shawnee County Jail for traffic and probation violation offenses, a jail administrator said.

Branch also in 1991 was convicted of burglary and was sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

He also had been arrested five other times in 1991 on battery, aggravated battery and/or criminal damage charges in Shawnee County. No formal charges were filed by Shawnee County prosecutors in those cases.

Branch had no criminal record in Douglas County, according to district court records.

A law enforcement source said Branch probably was a member of a Topeka gang. He had tattoos on his body that were consistent with gang members.

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