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Update: Motion filed to revoke bond of teen charged in connection to fatal Bramblett crash
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Update: Motion filed to revoke bond of teen charged in connection to fatal Bramblett crash

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Updated: Friday, April 2, at 10:42 a.m. 

The motion to revoke the bond of Johnston Taylor, 18, came Wednesday after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during three different drug screenings while on bond in March, court documents show. 

Taylor tested positive for alcohol indicative of “previous heavy drinking 1-3 days before testing, or recent light drinking within the past 24 hours” on March 1, 8 and 20, the state’s motion to revoke Taylor’s bond states.

Taylor’s defense attorneys objected to the motion to revoke bond and said the positive results for alcohol were due to allergy medication the defendant had taken, including Nite Time, ZzzQuick and Allergy Relief, because of high pollen levels and an inability to sleep due to “the PTSD caused by the accident and his depression because of the effect he had had only [sic] the family of the deceased,” the objection reads.

The objection said the state insisted on a surprise drug screening at Taylor’s youthful offender hearing that began Tuesday, and the results came back negative for both drugs and alcohol. The defense described the motion to revoke Taylor’s bond as a “last minute ‘hail Mary’ to try to put the defendant in jail and prejudice the court in its Y.O. ruling,” the objection reads.


The Auburn teen charged in connection with the deaths of Rod and Paula Bramblett in a vehicle crash when he was 16 years old is facing having his bond revoked a second time.

A motion was filed in court Wednesday afternoon to revoke the bond of Johnston Taylor, now 18.

On Jan. 16, 2020, Taylor was indicted by a Lee County grand jury on two counts of manslaughter-reckless in connection with the May 25, 2019 crash that killed the couple. He is charged as an adult.

Rod Bramblett — known as the Voice of the Auburn Tigers — was the lead broadcaster for Auburn University athletics for many years before his death.

The results of a drug test were received from the court administrator’s office and were given to the defense and prosecution at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and a motion to revoke Taylor’s bond was filed about four hours later, according to court records.

Lee County District Attorney Pro Tem Jessica Ventiere declined to comment on the case or motion.

Taylor’s previous bond was revoked in December 2019 due to traffic citations for speeding and reckless driving he was issued in November 2019.

Although his bond was revoked, Taylor was transferred from the Lee County Detention Facility to a rehabilitation facility for treatment. Court records indicate that he was taken to the rehab facility before Christmas 2019. He was then released from the facility in 2020 and his bond was re-instated with multiple bond conditions.

The Alabama Supreme Court appointed retired Dale County Judge McLauchlin to preside as the circuit judge in Taylor’s case in November 2020 after numerous Lee County judges recused themselves from presiding over the case, documents show.

Taylor filed a youthful offender status application in July 2020 and had his hearing on the application Tuesday, according to court records.

A youthful offender in the state of Alabama is classified as a person under the age of 21. If the application is approved, the applicant would have a reduced range of punishment to a maximum sentence of 3 years. The applicant also waives their right to a jury trial for a trial by court, according to Alabama law.​

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Background

Authorities reported that reckless driving and speeding both contributed to the Bramblett crash.

The report from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Traffic Homicide Unit indicated that Taylor’s vehicle was doing 89-91 mph and that he did not brake before the crash, according to the affidavit.

The posted speed limit for the section of Shug Jordan Parkway where the crash occurred is 55 mph.

A toxicology analysis report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences indicated a blood sample from Taylor contained THC.

THC “is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana and is indicative of recent usage of marijuana at the time of the collision on May 25,” the affidavit reads.

Taylor told police that he fell asleep while driving and did not remember what happened, according to the traffic-crash report.

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