Kountze city council member facing second felony charge

Kountze city councilman Ira Braneff, who earlier this month was charged with pocketing more than $3,000 earmarked for the headstone of Kountze high school senior Keiron Edwards, is now facing a second charge of state felony theft.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Braneff, acting as the owner and salesman for Big Thicket memorials, sold J. F. Shifflett a monument for a grave in February.  Mr. Shifflett said he was told he would have the monument in "a couple of months."  He said he gave Braneff a check for $2,475 and the check cleared the bank in February.

The affidavit says that the funeral home told Shifflett that although Braneff was employed with them at the time of the sale, there are no records of it taking place.  The two companies from which the funeral home gets monuments had no record of the sale.

If convicted, Braneff faces up to two years in jail and a $10,000 for each charge.



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