Bond is reduced in Brantley case
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Nov 20, 2013 | 1402 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Bond was reduced for a man charged with first-degree murder after a hearing Monday in Bradley County Criminal Court.

Donnie Ray Brantley is accused of the death of his wife, Marsha Rader Brantley, who disappeared in June 2009.

Brantley’s bond was reduced from $500,000 to $350,000, plus a $100,000 bond which was set during an earlier court case in which he was charged with hindering a secured creditor.

He remains incarcerated at the Bradley County Jail, according to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

Donnie Brantley was arrested in August and charged in the cold-case investigation after a grand jury issued an indictment.

The TBI asked the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office for assistance in 2011, and the matter has been under investigation since that time, according to reports.

He was taken into custody while making a court appearance regarding a travel trailer he allegedly attempted to keep from creditors.

According to reports from investigators, Donnie Brantley had moved to the small Northwest Georgia town of Kingston, occupying the travel trailer sometime after his wife disappeared. He never reported her missing to authorities and eventually, friends and family members were able to get TBI to look into her disappearance.

Marsha Brantley was a graduate of Lee University and also worked there.

Marsha Brantley’s family retained attorney James Logan, who was eventually able to take possession of the house, which Donnie and Marsha Brantley shared in the Benwood addition.

Donnie Brantley reportedly abandoned the property and family members noted it had fallen into disrepair. Taxes were unpaid after the house was left unattended.

Donnie Brantley failed to show up in court to claim the property.

After taking possession of the house, the family of Marsha Brantley allowed investigators to search for additional evidence, hoping to find clues to her disappearance.

Marsha was 52 when she left her husband and was seeking a divorce, according to Donnie Brantley’s statement to investigators.

In Logan’s complaint when seeking control of the property, he stated, “The defendant (Donnie Brantley) who was her husband, had and continues to embark upon a course of lies, deceit and misrepresentation.”

Logan’s complaint also said Donnie Brantley has given inconsistent statements about his wife’s disappearance and “... has asserted falsehoods regarding the circumstances surrounding her death and disappearance.”

Judge Amy Reedy set Feb. 3, 2014, for trial over the hindering a secured creditor charge and March 11, 2014, for the homicide allegation.

BCSO’s Criminal Investigations Division investigators continue to seek additional answers about Marsha Brantley’s disappearance, and her family remains vigilant in their search for the truth, according to her aunt, Medra Justis, of Clemmons, N.C.