William Branch, convicted May 20 in a St. Tammany Parish courtroom of armed robbery with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm, was sentenced Thursday to two concurrent life sentences, according to District Attorney Walter Reed’s office.
Because of previous convictions for theft, bank fraud and possession of cocaine and marijuana stretching back to 2005, 22nd Judicial District Court Judge August Hand sentenced Branch as a career criminal, according to Rick Wood, Reed’s spokesman.
Branch, 30, and two other people were arrested in July 2013 after a man reported being robbed near Slidell. One accomplice, 37-year-old Adriena Williams, lured the victim to a location with a phone call describing car trouble. When the victim arrived, Branch and another man, 42-year-old Bernell Earl, robbed him at gunpoint, Wood said.
The three fled in a car that was located a few minutes later on Interstate 10 by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, who found the three robbers along with the gun and the stolen items.
Williams pleaded guilty to simple robbery Dec. 9 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Earl was found guilty in January and was sentenced April 4 to life in prison.
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