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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest12345

    An update on mr gray; he pled guilty to felony animal cruelty with a deferred judgement. He was given 24 months probation- supervised. That means if he manages to go 2 years without getting caught drinking or doing drugs and commits no other crimes, the animal cruelty charge will be dropped from his record. If he violates his probation he can be taken back to court and his confession can be used against him in court. Those of you that know Cory and said he’d never hurt an animal, he ADMITTED in court that he killed Charlie!! It’s been almost a year since Charlie was murdered by Cory. Lets turn him into the police the next time he’s at a Carolina beach bar drinking and getting high. Don’t let him get away without punishment. I saw a vine video with him partying. I know he’s just going on with his life without any consequences. Call the cops and turn him in!!!
    RIP little Charlie. You are not forgotten.

  • josie zingarelli

    The person who strangled the chihuahua should be put down.

  • Guest??

    What I don’t understand is why people don’t see this for what it is,
    this is a hate crime, He didn’t care about the dog. He just wanted to hurt her and he did.

  • Carolyn Courtney

    Why don’t you just go and squash yourself? Lowlife…

  • Bug destroyer

    Because it makes hippies like you upset. Im going to kill some bugs in your name today, maybe I’ll get lucky and a squirrel will run out in front of my car too. Many bugs lost today because of Carolyn Courtney the bug MURDERER.

  • Central Scrutinizer

    If you knew Cory then you would know how to spell his name correct.

  • Carol Baron

    If this sorry excuse of a human being took this 6lb dog out of his cage and strangled him, what would he do to a crying child or to a wife if she were to disagree whith him? As far as I am concerned anyone who can hurt an innocent anamial is just one step above a child-molester!
    Anyone who can make an excuse for this kind of behavior is as sick and STUPID as the one who commited this sorry crime!

  • Guesticles
  • Free Cory

    Whats upwith the family threatening cory on facebook, did they even give him a chance to explain what happened, I think they just assummed the worse and just rolled with it. It seems like the family loves the attenttion and has been waiting for something dramatic to happen so they can talk about it. If you ask me, the kid is innocent, it was probably an accident. i mean if you look at him he looks like your local town hippie, those guys love all creatures. For the family that is threatening him and posted all these posters around town and stuff about him on the web. This family has probably been contacting the media and feeding them all this bull. i think he should sue them for all that they are worth… Slander, threats, ETC. shame on you Branham family… Cory is the victim now!

  • MSP

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

  • Guest27243

    Jenna is completely distraught at everything that has happened. She didn’t want to speak on this video because she was that upset by seeing him at court. I know jenna and know she loved that dog like her own. i aso know she was in love with corey. who in there right mind would kill there dog and ruin thre relationship when she had it perfect? i know her and i know that everything is truthful and justice will be served. i also know corey and i know he went downhill after highschool

  • Guest11111


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

  • Guest2929

    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!

  • Kimmyrice96

    I agree with you, this is sick and should have a punishment.

  • Alton

    Cory will be safer in jail, trust me on that. FACT! One day, someone will see him and remember this.

  • ferr man is a tool

    We see and hear about that stuff all day and night on the news networks and the web. It’s force fed to us. This is local news so stfu.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

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

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …here’s hoping that Cerberus is waiting to welcome him at the gates of hell very soon.

  • Guest7969

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

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    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

  • Central Scrutinizer

    If they where broken up why was he at her house? why did he stay the night there on numerous occasions? she is quoted on the news “I immediately changed my facebook status to single” like any one cares. She is not 24. How do you know he took the dog out of the cage? Lies. This cause is for vengeance not justice. Stop the lies.

  • Central Scrutinizer

    I agree. Press charges on the family members responsible for the Slander.

  • Guest2984

    Did you really just go there, this has nothing to do with Abortion. There is no law against abortion either. You may have your OPINION about it but there is nothing that says its illegal.

  • slander

    WWAY, where is a quote from jenna herself? All i see in there are quotes from her family. Looks to me like the family is persuading jenna to do all of this. Cory’s image is already tarnished, so how about some slander charges against the branhams? Before he even appeared in court yesterday the slander was already all over Carolina Beach and on facebook.

  • Guest 221041

    1) They were not together she had broken up with this nut bag. 2) She is 24 the last time I looked that was older then 21 3) How can you accidentally open a cage take an animal out and strangle it? 4) Why are you blaming the victim for her dogs death? 5) said nut job has threatened this girl before

    Accidents do happen this is no accident this is a control technique that crazy people use to prove what will happen to you if you don’t do what they want.

  • ferr man

    see how many pepole die and kill in palestine and
    sirya and the wway never say nothing about it
    but about this dog thay make it big deal
    go and see what happing all over usa people die
    they can’t find home to sleep and no food to eat
    and this dog live better than the homeless live in street

  • Guest666

    I have a question. All these articles keep saying is that he strangled the dog. This girl says that he took the dog out, strangled it, and put it back in the cage. At what point was the girl there? While he allegedly choked it or upon finding it dead in it’s cage and accusing him of killing it? I don’t condone cruelty to animals but neither do I think he should be considered guilty without due process as the law allows. People read a headline and jump to conclusions…what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Maybe we should have a lynching. It’s even more comical to see all of the references to his hair being an obvious sign pointing to his cruel and devious character. Get real and let the facts speak for themselves.

  • 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.

  • Guest18972

    the news reports keep saying ex boyfriend, they were still together when this happened from what i hear, everyone is trying to make this sound so much worse, the kid is a hippie, he wouldn’t harm a fly, I’m positive it was an accident and the girlfriend probably blew it out of proportion to try and get at him bc she was mad at him or something… Is she not breaking laws too? I saw pics of them 2 on other news sites and shes drinking alcohol, don’t you have to be 21 to drink? I think if anyone casts a stone on anyone they should be following the law as well… accidents happen, give the kid a break.

  • Carolyn Courtney

    Ive noticed that the people taking up for this scumbag won’t put there names down here….if you have a negative opinion put your name down!!!!!

  • Guest7969

    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!

  • Guest54321

    statisics show that people move on from harming animals to abusing women and children, murder, serial killer…do 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!

  • Dude1

    I don’t consider a Chihuahua a dog . It is more like a big rat. Maybe he was stoned and thought it was a big rat and try to kill it.

  • Diesel Dog

    He should have his day in court. If found guilty he should be put in a cage and choked like that little dog was. we have no need for people like this.One day he will be back on the news for killing a person.

  • Guest7969

    know what REALLY sad…the fact this guy will get MORE time and punishment than someone sucking a child out of the womb with a vacuum cleaner…

  • Lenny

    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!

  • DP101

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

  • Guest2929

    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.

  • malcolm4572

    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.

  • kendra

    Dogs and cats are put down on a daily basis. I don’t see humans being put to death because of homelessness or disease. Animals and humans are considered different entities under the law,and there’s a reason for that. Animals are Animals their lives do not possess the same value as the human life. We do not know the facts of this case all we know is hear say. Let the judge do his/her job.

  • Guest587345

    She is 20. I went to high school with them both. Also, they were together, and that is a fact because her relationship status changed after this happened. If they weren’t together then why was he in her room after she went to school, did he sneak in? Don’t think so.

  • Guest7969

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

  • Challengetheworld

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

  • guest27652765

    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.

  • GuestReality

    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.

  • GuestReality

    You know what, you may think you’re funny, but you’re not. Animals become like a part of someone’s family, whether they’re large or small. These people loved this little dog, and they will never get over the pain of it being killed in this awful way.

    If there’s any joke here, it’s you.

  • khalil

    Its not what he did… its what he didn’t do

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