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Prosecutor: Greenville homeowner who shot and killed naked man acted in self defense

Posted at 5:17 PM, Dec 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-05 17:17:40-05

GREENVILLE, Mich. — The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office has ruled that a homeowner who fatally shot a naked man he found sleeping in his home was acting in self defense and will not be charged.

Jess Allen Braman, 38, shot 28-year-old John Sherman Russell of Gowen on the morning of Sept. 6 after Russell broke into his S. Barry Street residence.

Prior to the early morning shooting, Greenville Police received reports of a man wandering the streets trying to get into homes and garages.  The Prosecutor’s Office stated that he had been drinking heavily that night and became belligerent at a different residence before ending up at Braman’s home.

Both police and a report from Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause conclude that Russell got into the home by an unlocked sliding door, then fell asleep naked on the couch.

Krause’s report, released Friday, says that Braman checked with his 17-year-old stepson to see if he knew Russell, and the teen said he did not.  Braman then grabbed his shotgun and attempted to wake him up.

When Russell woke up, officials say Braman told him several times to get out of his house and yelled for his neighbors to call police.

Russell then allegedly said something like “There ain’t three cops out there that can go toe-to-toe with me and take me down,” and then stood up and grabbed the barrel of the shotgun and attempted to pull it away.

Braman fired a single shot and Russell stumbled forward, hit a wall and fell to the ground, according to Krause’s report.   He told police he was intimidated by Russell because he was bigger than him and he feared for his family’s safety.