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Judge finds probable cause on murder charges

A 35-year-old will face murder charges in Superior Court after a District Court judge found probable cause on the charges on Wednesday, District Attorney Greg Newman said in a news release.

District Court Judge Emily Cowan found that probable cause exists in the first degree murder case of Terry Jason Brank, of the Crab Creek community.

“Judge Cowan heard testimony yesterday from two witnesses," Newman said. "She determined that probable cause exists that Brank committed the crime.  We intend to have the case presented to the grand jury that convenes in September."

Assistant District Attorneys Doug Mundy and Heather Brittain represented the state. Brevard attorney Tony Dalton represented the defendant.

Following the presentation of evidence and judge’s findings, Brittain requested that Mr. Brank’s bond be modified from $800,000 to no bond during the pendency of the case. Cowan granted the State’s request.  “We appreciate the judge making this change in the bond, because it is customary for a defendant facing a first-degree murder charge to be held with no bond,” Newman said. 

Brank was charged on July 11 in the death of Laura Cox.  At the hearing on Wednesday, Detective Aaron Lisenbee of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and medical examiner Brian Hyson testified about their findings in the case. The defendant offered no evidence. If the grand jury returns an indictment, the case will be transferred to Superior Court and trial dates will be decided later this year. Brank remains in custody at the Henderson County jail.