Trial ordered for eastern Pennsylvania man in January slayings of father, grandmother


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READING, Pennsylvania — An eastern Pennsylvania man has been ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the slayings of his father and grandmother in their Reading home.

Thirty-five-year-old Johnny T. Branford of Reading is charged in Berks County in the January deaths. Authorities said 52-year-old Johnny M. Branford had been stabbed and 74-year-old Mary Branford was asphyxiated.

A district judge ruled Monday that prosecutors had enough evidence to try Branford on first- and third-degree murder charges as well as counts of theft, unauthorized use of a credit card, possessing an instrument of crime and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Authorities said the defendant had been kicked out of the home after an argument with his father that led to a protection-from-abuse order filed in December. He was arrested in Allentown in February.

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