In 2022, Audrey Branch, a successful black woman who dedicated nearly a decade of her life to serve in the United States Army was found not guilty of murder and felonious assault in the 2021 fatal shooting of her long-term boyfriend Matthew Mott. According to Branch, although she was acquitted of the charges, for more than a year she has attempted to reunite with her children, one of which she shared with Mott, only to be treated like a criminal by an Ohio family judge and tortured by Mott’s mother.
Carroll County, Ohio- The heart-wrenching ordeal began on May 3, 2021, when Army vet Audrey Branch made her last call to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at 5:03 p.m., confessing to having shot her boyfriend Matthew Mott after Mott attacked her and smashed her head into a wall while their 3 year old daughter was asleep in another room.
The echoes of past incidents underscore the gravity of addressing domestic violence situations and the urgent need to safeguard the lives of those affected by them.
Right from the outset, investigators suspected that the couple’s relationship had taken a tragic turn during a domestic dispute, leading to Mott’s fatal gunshot wound in the chest. May 3rd wasn’t the first time law enforcement had been called to the residence due to a domestic altercation. According to a previous statement from Sheriff Dale Williams, approximately two months prior to this tragedy, deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call at the couple’s residence, but no arrests were made at that time.
According to Audrey Branch, the abuse that she endured at the hands of Matthew Mott stemmed back to at least 2017 when Mott started drinking heavily. Mott attacked her and was arrested on assault charges. Branch later found out that she was pregnant with their daughter and the couple reconciled in 2018. However, the relationship continued to decline, she added.
Branch stated that on the day that the tragedy occurred, she and Mott had been arguing most of the day. They had just returned home from Texas and she was in the process of leaving him and moving out of the home. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse, Mott attacked her and in self-defense, she shot him.
In early 2022, Branch was found not guilty by a jury and all charges were dropped against her.
According to Branch and an anonymous witness. Matthew Mott’s mother Melissa Mott has made it known that she is discontent with last year’s not guilty verdict, expressing her unfiltered anger towards Branch in and out of the courtroom by calling Branch names such as a murderer and a n!gger; sending unsolicited text messages to Branch such as “you killed my son in cold blood;” and allegedly telling Branch’s now 5 year old daughter that her mother is a murderer who killed her dad.
Despite court orders granting Branch access to her daughter that she shares with Mott, text messages show that Melissa Mott, who has temporary custody of the child, has denied Branch’s repeated requests to communicate with her daughter.
It’s been almost two years since Audrey Branch was acquitted of all charges. She has no criminal record, and shes never been in trouble with child protective services. Yet, text messages and court documents reveal a continued pattern of parental alienation, continued abuse towards Branch , and a lack of intervention from the racist white judge in Ohio overseeing the case.
The jury in this case spoke loud and clear, Audrey Branch is not guilty! This sister was a victim of domestic violence that fought back in self-defense against a man that was beating her up. There is no legal or moral justification to keep this woman separated from her child(ren), or the child(ren) separated from their mother.- Quanell X
Everyone deserves relationships free from domestic violence. If you or someone you know is involved in a domestic violence relationship, you are not alone. For confidential support, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.