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Schuylkill County News

Branch Charged with Both Murders in New Philadelphia Homicides Case

Developing story – Stay tuned for details

Lamour Branch thought he was walking out of Courtroom 4 at Schuylkill County Courthouse this morning a free man.

But as he exited the courtroom doors, escorted by members of the Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Office, he was met by State Police who charged him with the October 2023 murders of Hunter Mock and Angelito Caraballo.

As he was being arrested, cheers rang out in the halls of the Courthouse as family and friends of the victims witnessed Branch being arrested.

Branch Arraignment on New Philadelphia Murder Charges

Just before 10:30 a.m., Branch, 19, was arraigned before District Magistrate David Plachko in Port Carbon. Plachko denied bail and Branch was sent back to Schuylkill County Prison awaiting a Preliminary Hearing.

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Branch is facing two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of third-degree murder, three counts of first-degree felony aggravated assault, three counts of second-degree felony aggravated assault, and a host of misdemeanors.

As Plachko told Branch he was denying bail, the defendant made a few inaudible utterances and was then escorted out of Plachko’s office by State Police.

Branch Cressona Burglary Trial

Lamour Branch is led into Courtroom 4 at Schuylkill County Courthouse Wednesday morning to face trial on burglary charges related to a September 2023 incident in Cressona. (Coal Region Canary photos)

Earlier Wednesday morning, Branch was in Courtroom 4 before Judge Chris Hobbs on burglary charges related to a September 2023 incident in Cressona.

Branch was charged with attempting to break into the home of his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, Kyla Alton.

While it was admitted that Branch did break a window and the window on an entry door to Alton’s Cressona home on Sept. 4, his attorney, Public Defender Chris Riedlinger successfully argued that the most serious charges against Branch should be dismissed.

Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O’Pake watches as Lamour Branch is driven away from the Courthouse en route to District Magistrate Dave Plachko’s office to be arraigned on the New Philadelphia murders.

Branch was ultimately found guilty of criminal mischief, a summary offense, and Hobbs ordered his release from prison.

However, that likely moment of jubilation for Branch was short-lived because when he stepped out of the courtroom, he was met by State Police and notified that he was being charged with the murders of Mock and Caraballo.

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DEVELOPING STORY: This is a rapidly developing story and more details will be available throughout the day.

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