Man formally charged in 1996 Tallahassee motel death cold case

Posted at 1:00 PM, August 5, 2022 and last updated 1:03 PM, June 14, 2023

By WTXL Digital Staff

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A man who allegedly was involved in a murder case that occurred more than 25 years ago has been formally charged by the state of Florida.

Alan Lefferts (Baker County Sheriff’s Office)

According to a grand jury document from the Leon County Clerk and Comptroller’s Office filed Thursday, Alan Lefferts was formally charged with first-degree murder in the death of James Branner.

The document notes on or around July 2, 1996, Lefferts is accused of killing Branner by strangulation leading to asphyxiation, causing Branner’s death at a Tallahassee motel.

The Tallahassee Police Department had a break in the case following the examination of DNA evidence from the 1996 crime scene.

Lefferts, age 71, was arrested May 21, 2022 in Jacksonville.

This story was originally published August 4, 2022 by WTXL in Tallahassee, an E.W. Scripps Company.