Auburn teen heads to rehab after bond revoked in Bramblett Manslaughter case


LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – The Auburn teen charged in the deaths of Rod and Paula Bramblett had his bond revoked Wednesday morning due to additional allegations of speeding, reckless driving and suspected marijuana presence during subsequent traffic stops.

Judge Russell Bush revoked 16-year-old Johnston Taylor’s bond in response to a motion filed Friday by the Lee County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Bush is allowing Taylor to leave jail and enter into a rehabilitation facility where a bed is waiting for him according to the judge.

Taylor will not be allowed to leave the rehab facility until he completes treatment. If he does leave it will be considered escape. When treatment is complete, Taylor will be brought back to the jail.

The district attorney expects Taylor will be held at the Lee Co. detention facility until Monday when he will be transferred to a rehab facility. At that time the district attorney says it’s possible Taylor’s defense attorneys may ask for another bond. We are awaiting a statement from Taylor’s defense team.

Taylor also surrendered his driver’s license at the bond hearing.

Taylor was out on bond after being arrested in connection to the deaths of Rod and Paula Bramblett. Now, a Lee County Judge has revoked Taylor’s bond, based on traffic citations Taylor received during two November traffic stops by Auburn police since the deadly crash.

Rod Bramblett was the well-known “Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” and Paula worked at Auburn University in Information Technology.

“While the defendant is free on bond for the charges, he continues to engage in the same reckless driving behavior receiving two speeding tickets and one reckless driving citation. He was also found in possession of suspected marijuana residue while the vehicle he was driving smelled of marijuana,” said Friday’s bond revocation motion.

Taylor is charged with two counts of Manslaughter, a Class B Felony, after investigators say he rammed into the back of the Bramblett’s SUV while traveling between 89 and 91 mph along Shug Jordan Parkway, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph. The crash happened on May 25th.

An Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences toxicology report indicated a blood sample from Taylor contained THC. Court documents indicate investigators believe Taylor had used marijuana prior to the crash.

Tommy Spina, Johnston’s attorney, sent the following statement to News 3 Friday afternoon regarding the traffic citations and Motion to Revoke Bond:

“I am certainly saddened and disappointed in my client’s behavior that has lead up to the filing of a motion to revoke his bond. I was unaware of the driving violations until today when I saw the States filing. There are no excuses or blame shifting that would condone this behavior. I believe the DA is doing exactly what he should do under the circumstances. I obviously represent a very troubled young man who desperately needs help navigating his journey through life,” said Spina.

Taylor’s case awaits to be heard by a Grand Jury for them to consider an official indictment.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Traffic Homicide Unit indicates a study of the crash shows Taylor’s vehicle was not braking, according to the affidavit.

Taylor told police he fell asleep while driving and did not remember what happened, according to the traffic crash report. His attorney, Tommy Spina, maintained Taylor was not using marijuana or drinking at the time of the crash. He says his client had been at the lake all day and was exhausted.


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.