Former Sheriff candidate faces multiple charges

Barbara Layton
Christopher "Noel" Braley

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Jackson County Courthouse, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, Jackson County 911 dispatched a request for law enforcement to respond to Rolling Meadows Apartment Complex in Ripley. The call was in reference to an intoxicated male who was lying on the ground after nearly striking juveniles with a vehicle.

According to the complaint, several juveniles were walking north on Cedar Lakes Drive when a truck ran off the road causing them to have to jump out of the way. The juveniles said they felt the driver was intentionally attempting to hit them.

Following the incident, the complaint states the juveniles followed the vehicle to Rolling Meadows Apartment Complex where they then confronted the suspect.

During the confrontation, the victims said the suspect seemed intoxicated. The complaint states the suspect got in their faces and complimented them while attempting to grab one of the victims by her buttocks, instead, grabbing her hip and thigh.

When confronted by the mother of one of the victims, the suspect became aggressive and told her he had a gun, according to the complaint.

When officers arrived on scene, they made contact with the suspect whom they were able to identify as 52-year-old Christopher Noel Braley of Given. According to the complaint, the deputies stated Braley exhibited glassy, blood-shot eyes, he was unsteady on his feet, and the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage could be detected on his breath.

Separating Braley from the victims to obtain his statement, Braley informed an officer that he had a firearm in his vehicle. The complaint states that Braley began to reach in the center console area of the vehicle and was then directed by the officer to exit the vehicle, which he failed to do. According to the complaint, Braley had to be physically escorted from the vehicle. Once out the vehicle, Braley attempted to turn away from the officer and begin walking back to the driver’s side door. The complaint states Braley then took an aggressive stance and grabbed one of the officers by the arm, proceeding to twist his arm and pull the officer toward him. It was reported that Braley again took an aggressive stance and clinched his fist. According to the complaint, Braley was then taken to the ground, handcuffed, and detained in the officer’s patrol vehicle.

Upon a further search of the vehicle, officers were able to locate in plain view, an uncased firearm and also observed a Kanawha County, West Virginia, Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff photo ID card in Braley’s driver’s door. Other items located in Braley’s vehicle included an empty beer can and an empty prescription bottle.

The complaint states officers also noted extensive damage to the passenger side of the vehicle including damage to the front bumper and a missing side-view mirror.

Braley was then taken to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for processing where he was later transported to South Central Regional Jail to await arraignment.

According to the complaint, one of the officers was able to locate the scene of the accident where he found what appeared that a vehicle had struck a utility pole. Parts of a vehicle including the missing mirror noted previously from Braley’s vehicle, were located at the scene.

Based on the information received, Braley was charged with a first-offense DUI; battery on a police officer; possession of a loaded, uncased firearm in a vehicle; leaving the scene of an accident; and impersonation of a police officer.