Texas Department of Public safety troopers and Texas Rangers are still investigating a case in which a 37-year-old Lufkin woman who allegedly got into an auto accident in Nacogdoches, jumped a guard rail with her 6-year-old daughter, and tried to drown the little girl in a creek Saturday.
Shari Kamile Brandon is in the custody of the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office at Memorial Hospital. Chief Deputy Steven Godfrey of the NCSO said that Texas Rangers are handling the case now. However, he did confirm that Brandon is under sedation and is still at the hospital for treatment of her injuries and a mental health evaluation.
Brandon's bail has been set at $1 million. She has been charged with attempted capital murder, which is a first-degree felony. The charge is attempted capital murder because her daughter is under the age of 10.
According to the arrest affidavit, a DPS trooper responded to a wreck near the intersection of FM 1878 and County Road 228 Saturday. Trooper David Hendry, a DPS spokesman, said Brandon struck and injured a motorist on a dirt bike. Hendry said, at this time, he cannot release the name or the age of the individual Brandon struck because the person is a witness in an ongoing criminal investigation.
Further investigation into the incident revealed that after the crash, Brandon allegedly grabbed her daughter from her seat and jumped off a nearby guard rail and into the creek bottom approximately 20 feet below.
The trooper confirmed all this with both emergency personnel that responded to the wreck and witnesses at the scene, according to the affidavit. While Brandon and her daughter were in the creek bed, she allegedly tried to drown her daughter by pushing her head under the water.
After the trooper and a Child Protective Services investigator interviewed the -6year-old girl at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, the trooper contacted the area's Texas Ranger and requested his assistance. At that point, the Ranger interviewed the little girl again with the DPS trooper and the CPS investigator as well.
Brandon's daughter told authorities that after the crash, her mother took her out of her seat and gave her what she described as a "piggy back ride" to the creek near the crash scene. The little girl said that her mother went over the guard rail and jumped into the creek.
The little girl told the Texas Ranger that she was scared "because she thought alligators were in the creek." She told authorities that she thought she was going to drown when her mother held her head under the water.
Brandon's daughter told the Texas Ranger that she able to "come up for air in just the nick of time." Then, her mother allegedly pushed her head under the water again. The little girl then told authorities that she decided to play dead, so her mother would stop drowning her, the affidavit stated.
After the little girl did so, Brandon allegedly left her down in the creek by herself.
The affidavit stated that during the interview, the little girl vomited "what appeared to be creek water that contained bark and leaves."
The 6-year-old told the Texas Ranger that her mother had been scaring her since the day before the accident (Friday) when her mother killed the girl's two kittens. Brandon's daughter said that the two kittens had scratched her mother's hands and arms.
In addition, the little girl told the Texas Ranger that her mother had been reading Bible verses and saying that the devil is in control. The affidavit stated that just before the wreck, Brandon "rebuked" her daughter several times.
The Texas Ranger noticed scratches on Brandon's hands and forearms that were consistent with the little girl's story about her kittens scratching her mother. He also went to the crash site and noticed disturbed dirt in the creek bottom that also backed up her account of what had happened.
"Shari Brandon has been sedated since the crash due to being combative at the hospital, and [the Texas Ranger] has been unable to interview her about the situation," the affidavit stated.
According to Shari Pulliam, a spokeswoman for CPS, the 6-year-old girl was placed into the custody of her father, who lives in another city.
Brandon has a previous arrest in Travis County in 2007 for DWI.
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