Grand jury indicts teen charged in fatal Bramblett crash

A Lee County grand jury indicted the Auburn 16-year-old charged in connection with the death of Rod and Paula Bramblett in a vehicle crash.

Johnston Edward Taylor, 16, was indicted on two counts of manslaughter-reckless by a grand jury on Jan. 16, according to court records.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes confirmed the indictments Thursday. 

Rod Bramblett — known as the Voice of the Auburn Tigers — was the lead broadcaster for Auburn University athletics for many years before his death.

Taylor is charged as an adult with two counts of manslaughter-reckless in connection with the May 25, 2019, crash that killed the couple. Investigators claim he plowed into the couple’s vehicle traveling at about 90 mph.

His arraignment is set for Jan. 30 in Judge Jacob Walker III’s courtroom.

Taylor’s bond was revoked in December 2019 due to traffic citations for speeding and driving reckless he was issued in November 2019.

Although his bond was revoked, Taylor was transferred from the Lee County Detention Facility to a rehabilitation facility for treatment.

Court records indicate that he was taken to the rehab facility prior to Christmas 2019.

However, Taylor may not leave the rehab facility. If he does, he would face other charges such as felony escape, officials said.

When his treatment is complete Taylor will be brought back to the Lee County Detention Facility.

Taylor will remain in the Lee County Detention Facility following treatment unless he is granted bond again.


Authorities reported that reckless driving and speeding both contributed to the Bramblett crash.

The report from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Traffic Homicide Unit indicated that Taylor’s vehicle was doing 89-91 mph and did not brake before the crash, according to the affidavit.

The posted speed limit for the section of Shug Jordan Parkway where the crash occurred is 55 mph.

A toxicology analysis report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences indicated a blood sample from Taylor contained THC.

THC “is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana and is indicative of recent usage of marijuana at the time of the collision on May 25,” the affidavit reads.

Taylor told police he fell asleep while driving and did not remember what happened, according to the traffic crash report.

Johnston Edward Taylor, 16, of Auburn (Credit: OAnow)

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