CORRECTION: The correct location of the incident has been listed in the following story. The Progress regrets the error.
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CHEROKEE COUNTY – Two Jacksonville men are being held on $1 million each at the Cherokee County Jail on capital murder charges, following their arrests Thursday.
Brandon Branton, 22, and Ja'Michael Rusk, 22, both of Jacksonville, were charged in connection with a July 31 murder, in which Jacksonville resident Randy Davenport, 25, was fatally stabbed while at a site in the northern part of the county.
According to a release issued Friday morning by Cherokee County Sheriff's Investigator Brent Dickson, Davenport had received a ride from the men when they stopped their vehicle at the corner of county roads 3906 and 3901 “and intentionally committed the act of murder,” the release stated.
Arrest warrant affidavits were presented to 369th District Judge Michael Davis, who issued warrants for Branton and Rusk Thursday afternoon.
The men were arrested by Cherokee County investigators and Texas Rangers on charges of capital murder. They were arraigned by Cherokee County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Phillip Grimes, who set bonds of $1 million for each.
The penalty for capital murder includes a fine up to $10,000, a prison sentence between 5-99 years or the death penalty, Dickson said.
A multi-agency taskforce investigated the incident, with officers from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Rangers, Jacksonville Police Department, Rusk Police Department and the Smith County Sheriff's Office East Texas Anti Gang Task Force.
“I'm proud of the work the detectives with the sheriff's office did, along with the great work done by the multiple agencies in and around the county,” Dickson said. “It was a tough case, and (agents) spent a lot of hours making sure we got this solved, for Davenport's family and for the citizens.”
An investigation is ongoing, as “we're still putting parts together,” he added.