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Schuylkill County News

Hearing for Lamour Branch on Burglary Charge Continued, Victim Has COVID

Hearing continued to February 2024.

A preliminary hearing for Lamour Branch, 19, scheduled for Tuesday morning before District Magistrate Andrew J. Serina, Orwigsburg, has been continued until February 2024.

According to Attorney Christopher Riedlinger, the public defender representing Branch in that case, the alleged burglary victim tested positive for Covid and could not be present at today’s hearing, so it had to be rescheduled.

A representative of the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s office confirmed this to The Canary on Tuesday afternoon.

Another media report indicated that the DA’s office would seek to revoke Branch’s bail on the burglary charge had he, as that other source reported, skipped out on today’s Preliminary Hearing.

“Nobody was there,” Riedlinger told The Canary. “The (alleged) victim has tested positive for Covid and could not be present, so the hearing was continued.”

Regarding the report that the DA’s office would seek to revoke his client’s bail, Riedlinger said, “I don’t know how you can revoke bail for a person who didn’t show up for a hearing that didn’t take place. If that’s what happens, I’ll fight it.”

UPDATE: According to the Schuylkill County District Attorney’s office, they will seek to have Branch’s bail revoked due to a parole violation.

Branch’s Connection to New Philadelphia Double Murder Case

This hearing has garnered more attention than normal because of Branch’s connection to the investigation into the double homicide case in New Philadelphia back in October.

Witnesses interviewed by Pennsylvania State Police say Branch was one of four people at a wooded location outside New Philadelphia known as The Sanchez.

One witness, Jahlique Sherwood, told police that Branch shot and killed 18-year-old Hunter Mock.

Sherwood allegedly told police that after Branch shot Mock, he ordered him to kill 16-year-old Angelito Caraballo. Sherwood said he fled the scene on foot before eventually ending up soaking wet with tattered clothes at a nearby home.

Mock and Caraballo’s bodies were found several days later after police had originally reported them missing. Caraballo reportedly died from stab wounds but investigation details released to the public do not indicate who may be responsible for his death.

On Oct. 11, during the early morning hours, US Marshals arrested Branch at a home near Mountain Top, Luzerne County, on a warrant related to the Cressona burglary incident in September, which has been deemed unrelated to the New Philadelphia incident.

Bail was originally set at $25,000 for Branch on the burglary charge. After about a month lodged at Schuylkill County Prison, Branch successfully motioned to have the bail reduced to $10,000 and soon after posted bond to be released from jail.

In an interview with police following his arrest on the burglary charge, Branch reportedly said it was Sherwood that actually shot Mock.

No arrests have been made and no charges filed related to the New Philadelphia investigation.

For more details on the investigation into the New Philadelphia homicides, read our full report here:

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