Robbery suspect faces murder charge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities in eastern North Carolina say a man wanted in two bank robberies is now facing a second-degree murder charge after a truck he was driving to elude sheriff’s deputies struck and killed an elderly motorist.

Local media outlets report 42-year-old Michael Ojay Branch was being chased by Martin County sheriff’s deputies after a robbery last Friday at the State Employees Credit Union in Washington. During the chase, the truck Branch was driving struck a car being driven by 86-year-old Annie Bennett of Williamston.

Branch, who is also charged with a bank robbery in Washington on April 6, is being held in the Beaufort County jail under a $1 million bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.

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