Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Burglary binge in Citrus, Hernando counties leaves one suspect dead

BROOKSVILLE — Johnathan Braden crossed paths twice with armed residents during a string of burglaries Tuesday, investigators say.

The first time, at a home on Flavian Road just south of the Citrus-Hernando line, Braden fled on foot with his accomplice.

Braden, 27, didn't survive the second encounter, three hours later and about a mile away.

About 1:45 p.m., Braden broke into a home on S Old Jones Road in Citrus County and got into a struggle with Theron Dunn, who lives on the property, according to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. Dunn fatally shot Braden, investigators say.

Dunn, 37, didn't have a phone, so he posted a message on Facebook asking someone to call 911. Deputies arrived and found Braden of Crystal River dead at the scene.

Dunn has not been charged. The case will be turned over to the State Attorney's Office for review.

"All indications are that this was self-defense," said Citrus sheriff's spokeswoman Heather Yates.

The shooting brought a violent end to a brief run of burglaries by Braden and Timothy David Stone, 29, of Dunnellon, authorities said.

About 10:45 Tuesday morning, the Hernando Sheriff's Office received a call from the home of Matt and Bobbi Lynn Morgan.

Bobbi Lynn Morgan told deputies she heard a noise, looked outside and saw two men rummaging through belongings on the porch of their home at 16199 Flavian Road, a Hernando sheriff's reports state. Both men were dressed in camouflage. One was holding a knife and tried to open the front door.

Matt Morgan went to get his gun as his wife watched one of the men grab a pair of Nike sneakers and a duffel bag. When Matt Morgan returned with the gun, the men fled.

Neighbors in the rural, wooded area reported seeing men dressed in camouflage running through yards. Investigators say the two men burglarized a vehicle on Friendly Road before they separated.

Deputies found Stone near the intersection of Friendly and Spring Prairie roads. He admitted stealing the Nikes on his feet, deputies say. Deputies also found a knife in the nearby woods.

Meanwhile, Braden headed north, crossing a field and the county line, to 13347 S Old Jones Road. Dunn lives in an apartment on the property and his parents live in a separate house.

Dunn heard glass breaking at his parents' house, armed himself with a gun and went to investigate. He entered the home and found Braden pointing a gun he'd found in the house, deputies say.

Dunn convinced Braden to put the gun down and leave, but as Braden was walking out, deputies say, he punched Dunn in the face and started choking him from behind. Dunn grabbed his gun and shot Braden.

A man on the property waved a visiting reporter away on Wednesday. A woman who answered a phone listed for a Dunn family member said, "We're not talking to anybody."

Stone was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on a charge of armed burglary and remained there Wednesday in lieu of $50,000. He has served three stints in prison for grand theft, bringing contraband into a detention facility and simple battery.

Braden had two arrests in Florida on charges of reckless driving, criminal mischief and driving under the influence.

Times news researcher Natalie Watson and Bay News 9 contributed to this report.

Burglary binge in Citrus, Hernando counties leaves one suspect dead 01/22/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Man faces charge of abuse after 2-month-old injured

    Crime

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 2-month-old child was taken to All Children's Hospital with multiple skull fractures Saturday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and a 24-year-old man has been arrested.

    Jacob Brattain, 24, of Zephyrhills is charged with aggravated child abuse and was arrested Sunday. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, a 2-month-old child suffered multiple skull fractures under his care.
  2. Amazon receives 238 proposals from places eager to become its 2nd headquarters

    Business

    NEW YORK — Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters.

    Earlier this month, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon says it received 238 proposals from cities and regions hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters. 
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]
  3. Police may have found the body of a Texas toddler whose dad said he banished her to an alley

    Nation

    Police in Texas say they have "most likely" found the body of Sherin Mathews, the missing 3-year-old girl whose father claims he sent her alone into an alley when she wouldn't drink her milk.

    This undated photo provided by the Richardson Texas Police Department shows 3-year-old Sherin Mathews. Police in a Dallas suburb say they've found the body of a small child, not far from the home of Sherin Mathews, who's been missing since early this month. (Richardson Texas Police Department via AP)
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?

    Bucs

    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Jim McElwain: Florida Gators have received death threats after 3-3 start

    Blogs

    GAINESVILLE - The Florida Gators' 3-3 start is causing some fans to become irrational - even by college football standards.

    UF coach Jim McElwain said there have been death threats made against people related to his program.