Another Branch is charged with running down pedestrians
By Dave Gathman firstname.lastname@example.org June 28, 2013 3:28PM
Updated: August 1, 2013 6:04AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — A bizarre coincidence? Or a family trend?
Apparently it’s just the former.
One sunny November day in 2009, a 35-year-old Streamwood woman was angry that a 17-year-old Elgin boy had struck her 16-year-old son in the face during an argument over a girl. As she drove up to the Elgin apartment building where the older boy lived, she saw him standing in an alley. He began to run away. She pressed down the accelerator on her Chrysler Imperial and crushed the youth against a brick wall and an electrical transformer box, killing him almost instantly.
One day in March of this year, Carpentersville police allege, a 34-year-old Chicago woman was angry that two teenagers had been bullying her nephew. As she drove into the Foxview Apartments complex in Carpentersville where they live, she saw them. She allegedly steered her Lincoln Navigator SUV toward them and struck both teens. They survived, but one was left critically injured and the other also was taken to a hospital.
The first woman was named Timera Branch.
The second woman was named Angelique Branch.
But when Angelique Branch appeared in Kane County court for a hearing Friday, she denied having any relationship to Timera Branch. She got the Branch name only by being married to a man named Torrence Branch, and when asked by a reporter whether he was related to Timera, Torrence responded with a puzzled face and the question, “Who?”
“Branch is a fairly common name,” said Angelique’s attorney, Kevin McCubbin of Wheeling. McCubbin said he had never heard of the much locally-publicized Timera Branch case.
Angelique Branch is charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated battery in a public way, one count of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, one count of leaving the scene of an injury accident and one count of failing to report an injury accident. All are felonies, the most serious ones punishable by up to seven years in prison.
According to court records, the 16-year-old and 15-year-od were struck by a car at 3:40 p.m. on March 11 near their home on Oxford Drive in Carpentersville.
Witnesses told police that a black SUV drove into the parking lot and struck the two teens and a parked car, then drove away.
The two boys were taken by ambulance to an Elgin hospital. According to court records, the 15-year-old was found to have a ruptured spleen, so he was transferred to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
The boys’ current physical conditions and identities are not available to the public.
Carpentersville Police Comdr.. Timothy Bosshart said that at 8:15 p.m. on March 11, about four and a half hours after the crash, a police officer found a black SUV matching the description of the hit-and-run vehicle, with front-end damage, in a driveway in the 600 block of Jefferson Avenue in Carpentersville. Bosshart said the SUV was found to have been driven there by Angelique Branch. The teenage victims told police they had an argument with Branch’s nephew earlier that day.
According to Bosshart, Branch told officers on March 11 that if she had hit any pedestrians, she hadn’t noticed. She at first was released. But after further investigation, Bosshart said, a warrant for her arrest was issued on April 12, and on May 15 Branch turned herself in at the Kane County criminal courthouse.
Her bail originally was set at $150,000, which would have required her to post $15,000 cash, and she was held for two weeks in the county jail. But on May 31 Judge Clint Hull agreed to lower her bail to $20,000. According to court records, husband Torrence Branch posted the required $2,000 cash that day and she was released pending trial.
In court on Friday, Hull scheduled a new hearing in the case for Aug. 14 but said that if Branch wants to remain free on bond, she must prove by July 3 that she has a full-time job, because that was a condition of her bail having been reduced.
The bail conditions also require Branch to avoid contact with the injured teens and their families, and not to consume alcohol or drugs.
In 2011 Timera Branch was convicted of first-degree murder in the car-crushing death of John Keyes III at Elgin’s Burnham Schoolhouse Apartments. She is now locked up in Logan Correctional Center in Logan, Ill., four years into a 34-year prison sentence with no possibility of parole.
The teenage son whose honor Timera Branch was defending, Lacorbeck Benion, later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 15 years, with release possible after half that time. According to at least one witness, Benion beat Keyes’ mutilated body with a baseball bat after the car crash, and witnesses agreed that he and friends had driven to the Burnham Schoolhouse showdown — in a different car than his mother — toting various weapons.