Murdered woman may have feared the man accused of killing her

By Ken Curtis

Published 08/27 2014 09:59PM

Updated 08/28 2014 08:49PM

The Dothan woman murdered earlier this week may have feared for her safety after ending a romantic relationship with the man accused of killing her. That’s according to a police report filed in the death of Charlotte Whitehead Branton, also known as Charlotte McCall Branton. She was 57.

Police arrested Robert Francis Schulze, 58, Wednesday and charged him in the shooting death of Branton whose body was found in a Jacksonville, Florida apartment where she had lived. Branton had been shot once in the head according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Assistant Chief Chris Butler. It was Schulze that called police, he said, though it appears the call came several hours after his former girlfriend was killed.

In the police report provided to WDHN/ investigators state “a review of the victim’s cell phone records displayed several text messages between herself and Schulze. Some of the messages implied the victim was afraid of Schulze and did not want to see him.” Butler said the relationship recently ended after lasting for about five months. The assistant chief said there is no record of physical violence involving the couple.

Schulze made two trips to the upscale apartment Monday when Branton was killed, according to the report. He told investigators he went to help his former girlfriend pack up belongings. She was returning to Dothan where she previously lived and had recently accepted a job with Hometown Lenders. Branton was scheduled to begin work Thursday.

“(Schulze) gave a questionable chain of events and was transported to the Police Memorial Building (Monday) for further interview. Schulze advised when he arrived (at the apartment) he discovered the victim unresponsive,” the report states. Schulze claims he performed CPR on Branton after dialing 9-1-1.

Police decided to interview him again Wednesday because of what they term inconsistencies in his statement. Butler said Schulze then confessed to killing his former girlfriend.

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