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Attempted Homicide, Assault & Animal Cruelty

By Jessie Williams

A Westmoreland man was charged with attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault and cruelty to animals last week after authorities responded to a report of a woman being held at gunpoint at a residence on Epperson Springs Rd. 


According to an incident report filed at the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and officers from other agencies arrived at the residence on Monday, July 9, at approximately 7:30 p.m, where they set up a perimeter around the home.

The suspect, 39-year-old James Matthew Brawner, was barricaded inside with his wife. 

Some time later, officers were able to make contact with Brawner and he was taken into custody outside the residence without incident. 

Authorities swept the residence, and detectives were called to the scene. 

Inside the home they discovered rolling papers, a baggie filled with a green, leafy substance believed to be marijuana, a handgun and two live rounds.

Authorities learned that the suspect had also choked out a 16-year old male relative at the residence. Other individuals that were present were able to escape and carry the unresponsive victim to safety at a nearby church, where they called the police. 

The victim was transported from the church by EMS to the Sumner County Hospital ER. He survived the assault. 

The District Attorney’s Office was also contacted to conduct an investigation. 

After collecting evidence and taking statements, authorities learned the juvenile had also been assaulted by Brawner the day before with a BB gun and baseball bat.

A small dog in very poor health was found at Brawner’s residence. Animal control was contacted and has since retrieved the dog.

Brawner was charged with attempted criminal homicide, three counts of aggravated assault, simple possession and cruelty to animals. His bond was set at $206,700 and he is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on Wednesday, July 18.