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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Accused 'Chihuahua Choker' appears in court

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Accused 'Chihuahua Choker' appears in court

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) - Justice for Charlie. That's what a family is seeking after their dog was strangled last week. Today, its accused killer appeared in court.

Video is all Jenna Branham and her family have left of Charlie the Chihuahua. The little dog was killed Friday. The man accused of strangling Charlie? Branham's ex-boyfriend Cory Morgan Gray, 24.

"For someone to take a little 6 pound chihuahua out of his cage, literally strangle him and put him back in, deserves to be punished," Jenna's aunt Pam Postich said.

It's a punishment that will be up to a court to decide. Gray appeared before a judge Monday. Charlie's family sat just feet away.

"My mind was just racing, my heart was just racing, just, he didn't look like he felt bad for anything," Jenna's sister Danielle Branham said. "He's hiring his own attorney, which obviously means he's going to plead not guilty."

Gray received his court date and walked out without saying a word to Branham's family.

"He never gave us a reason. He can't tell us why he did it," Danielle Branham said.

Branham's family plans to be there during the trial to seek justice for Charlie and hoping for a change in the law.

"We can't bring Charlie back but maybe we can help others," Jenna's dad Sid said. "Maybe we can get stricter penalties on animal cruelty. That's the goal."

While at the courthouse, Jenna Branham also took out a restraining order against Gray.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



I went there...because people are going NUTZ over a stupid animal!

I support Cory here -- the 'Chihuahua Choker'

I support Cory here -- the 'Chihuahua Choker' -- as those dogs are really annoying. Dogs are considered "personal property" so any civil suit by the late Charlie's family will only be able to sue for the value of a USED dog -- about $10 is the going rate, and since you can get them for free at the dog pound, a good lawyer can argue that a dog has no value.

Personally, I HATE dogs -- after being bitten as a child from a neighbor's little yapper. Dogs are dangerous, and the 'Chihuahua Choker' should argue that Charlie tried to attack him -- dogs always do attack sooner or later -- and thus the "murder" will be self defense. Dead Dogs can't testify so it's a easy not guilty verdict.

I live downtown and have to carry pepper spray to ward off the dogs -- many of which poop illegally. My wife is from a country in which packs of dogs eat children -- it happens. To conclude, I hate dogs. Charlie was just a piece of property that has no economic value -- that's the truth!

to the person who supports cory

please sign your name to your next post so everyone can hate you too...


No, the truth is you're an idiot. Charlie was a member of someone's family, and he was taken from them in a cold, calculating, brutal manner. Just because one dog bit you when you were a child you mark them all as evil and not worthy of life? I don't care where your wife came from. We don't eat dogs here. We love them, we nurture them, we care about them, and they do the same for us. You would know that if you gave them half a chance.

I've never said this to any poster on this site, but I will say it now. Lenny, you suck.

To conclude

You suck Lenny. Go back to the country where the packs of dogs eat people. We could do with one less of you.


I say put him in a pen with a mad Pit Bull, Doberman and Rotty and see how he likes that!!!


You have to be some sort of left wing tree huggin PETA freak to think up something like that as punishment to a HUMAN...a MILLION dogs lives aren't equal to ONE SINGLE HUMAN LIFE...PERIOD!

What a load of crap!

The more I see of men the more I like dogs. --Madame de Stael

Your Right

Dogs are BETTER than humans. Dogs don't plot to kill each other. I love my three dogs and you better believe that he would not be getting a trial had he done this to mine. I would have shot and killed him myself

Kill a spider, you're the

Kill a spider, you're the "man of the house". Kill a little spider of a dog and you face a year in prison? Who cares. Give this kid a fine and get on with life.

Can't believe this is blown so out of proportion.

Don't have the ability to comprehend

Guest 2929, Its so sad that you don't have the ability to comprehend the big picture. You are obviously someone with such a simple mind that reads an article such as this and sees only what is talked about in the article and doesn't see the underlying issues and how those issues will undoubtedly develop and escalate over time. Each time an individual such as Mr. Gray 'gets away' with an act such as this they just become braver and move on to something more heinous. Maybe when he moves on to a more heinous act it will be you or one of your loved ones that is his next victim. Then maybe the big picture will become clear for you.

Did I say let him get away

Did I say let him get away with anything? I said give him a fine. You're going to put someone in jail for a year for killing a dog? Make him see a psychiatrist or something.

To assume that someone kills a dog, possibly the most annoying dog in the animal kingdom, means they're going to kill humans is a pretty big jump! People in eastern cultures kill/eat dogs all the time, yet they have a much lower murder rate than here!

Who cares?

SOCIETY should care. A great number of serial killers (Jeff Dahlmer for one) began as killers of small animals. A little squirrel here..a little bird there...etc. I cannot believe you don't see the big picture Guest 2929. You are totally out of touch.

statisics show that people

statisics show that people move on from harming animals to abusing women and children, murder, serial a little research and you might learn something. If you think this is being blown out of porportion, give me a call when this animal takes your daughter on a date and she doesn't come home alive! Then we'll see how much media you want on that story. Jerk!


you please link to a study by a NON-PETA or Humane Society group on this...

Would a law enforcement study be good enough for you?!

You might want to read it twice, there are some really big words in the article and it's kinda long too.

Sick puppy

Yeah, this guy is gonna hurt someone one day. A crowded theater, or mall, or someplace else. If you can choke a helpless little dog to death with your bare hands and watch it die, you can kill anything for no good reason. I understand how crazy a break-up can make you feel (his likely defense), but this guy is a real future problem and I only hope the Judge can figure out a way to put THIS puppy down before he turns his perverted anger on another innocent being.

I don't advocate such things as mob violence generally, but I'll admit I won't be sad to read about how this scumbag met his just punishment one night after being recognized in a bar around town. God may forgive him, but a dog never forgets a bite.


Was there an autopsy done on the little pooch to confirm cause of death?

Charlie the dog

First it is a dog the next thing it will be a child. Please post his court date so that dog lovers can show up to support this family.


Really...and you know this HOW?...


This "man" is likely a sociopath with no conscience. The ex-girlfriend is lucky he didn't strangle her. Today, it's a little Chihuahua. But tomorrow, it could be a child.

Lock this fiend up, please!!

If, as you say, he is a

If, as you say, he is a "sociopath with no conscience," why did his girlfriend not sense this? She chose him (perhaps for his cool factor," and she loved him.

Jenna's chihuahua was a casualty of her bad choice. It appears to me that the boyfriend really wanted to choke Jenna, but instead chose to strangle the doggy to hurt her.

Anyway, he is a cruel, dangerous man, and Jenna and her family had better be careful with their actions. He just might decide to take out his anger--his uncontrollable rage-- on one of them. I would think he certainly has the capacity for a terrible revenge.

I'm just a poor boy, nobody

I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy, from a poor family
Sparing his life, for his austrosities.

Easy come, easy go,
Will you let me go ?

Noooo we will not let you go.

I wonder how the managing

I wonder how the managing editor can live with himself?

Dare you print that?

He's a lucky man that wasn't

He's a lucky man that wasn't my dog or one of many my friends have, any man that will do that to a dog will do it to a child or an elderly person, that's just not right.


by your rationale...everyone's a killer? I don't see people rallying and crying when someone goes and steps on a poor defenseless spider thats minding its own business, roach, etc...its just because this organism happens to have fur that ANYBODY even cares...

killing a cock roach...

Dogs and cats give humans unconditional love. Comparing killing a dog or cat to killing a spider or cock roach shows your level of ignorance.

It appears the thug that killed this defenseless puppy needs to share a cell with you! Both of you are nuts.

choking a 6lb dog

I hope this guy gets punished for what he has done.Dogs are human too & they do not derserve to die by some heartless ,worthless person like this guy!Would he want to be treated like this?I doubt it!

Dogs are human too?

Uhhh .... I don't think so. Last time I checked, dogs were dogs.

No matter how bad his actions (and they were) dogs are still dogs. To say otherwise is to demean humanity, which is what this guy is lacking.


NO..dogs AREN'T human...