Virginia man sentenced for inmate's murder - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Virginia man sentenced for inmate's murder

Steven Branscome Steven Branscome

A Virginia man, serving time for shooting a state trooper, receives an additional forty years in prison for stabbing a fellow inmate to death at Mount Olive Correctional Complex.

Steven Branscome, 41, previously entered a guilty plea to second degree murder in the death of 47-year-old Russell Leon Hager. His body was found on March 19, 2016 in the prison's weight yard with multiple stab wounds to the head and neck. Fayette County Prosecutor Larry E. Harrah says Branscome used a manufactured weapon, commonly called a shank, to kill Hager. 

The forty-year sentence is to run consecutively with two other sentences. One for the attempted first degree murder of a Virginia Trooper Richard Hughes in March 2008. Trooper Hughes was in pursuit of Branscome at the time and was shot just inside the state line in Mercer County, WV. He wasn't seriously injured. The incident sparked a nationwide manhunt. Branscome was located in Texas ten days after the shooting. In January 2009, he was sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison. The case was handled in Mercer County. 

The events that transpired in 2008 also led to a federal gun charge and conviction where Branscome received a thirty-year prison sentence.

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