By Arianna Pickard
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Shooting victim Kelsey Bransby was shaking and breathing rapidly when police arrived on the scene, witnesses testified Friday in Cleveland County District Court.
Witnesses in the ongoing manslaughter trial also said Cole Dean Hopper, the accused in the shooting death of 19-year-old Bransby, told Oklahoma City Detective Tyler Larson that members of a Mexican drug cartel could be suspects in the shooting.
Oklahoma City Police Officer Randy Kirby testified Friday that he was one of two policemen who found Bransby with a bullet wound in her head on Oct. 27, 2011. Kirby, a patrol officer, responded to a 911 call to go to an apartment in south Oklahoma City. When he arrived, shortly after 8 p.m., he found Bransby lying on the ground in the living room.
“Her body was kind of shaking, and she was inhaling rapidly,” Kirby said.
EMSA paramedic Greg Ford testified that he was one of the paramedics who treated Bransby the night she was found.
Bransby was alive but unresponsive and trying to breathe when Ford entered the apartment, he said. Her left eye was swollen and “protruding out,” and the protruding increased as she was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. It appeared that a bullet had penetrated her face, he said.
Witnesses established that a live bullet was found on the floor near a closet where defendant Hopper kept his things.
Wesner testified that he and his girlfriend had found Bransby alone in the apartment around 8 p.m. He saw Bransby leaning over on the couch and heard her breathing strangely. He thought she was asleep because he could only see the right side of her face, which wasn’t wounded.
Wesner noticed the injury on the left side of Bransby’s face when he started shaking her to wake her up, he said. When he saw her injury, he told his girlfriend to call 911, and the two of them searched the apartment to get rid of drugs before police arrived.
A crime scene investigator testified that he found four syringes in the apartment and two small bags of “white rocks” that appeared to be drugs.
On Wednesday, witness Danielle Cooley testified that Bransby often used needles to inject meth.
Officer Kirby testified that Wesner told him Hopper had left the apartment earlier that day while Bransby had been getting ready to leave to meet up with a “Mexican male.”
Larson testified that Hopper also had mentioned a Mexican male named “Manny” in a November 2011 interview, a few days after Bransby was found. Hopper told Larson that Manny was part of a Mexican drug cartel and Bransby owed him money for drugs.
Larson located and questioned “Manny,” but the man didn’t appear to be related to the case at all, Larson testified.
Larson’s testimony will continue at 9 a.m. Monday in District Judge Tracy Schumacher’s courtroom.