Man pleads not guilty in 1984 homicide

Published 12:16 am Saturday, July 19, 2008

A man charged with concealing the 1984 homicide of a burglary accomplice and stealing his identity has pleaded not guilty in Adams County court.

Wallace Daniel Spence of Corinth, Miss., hesitated and talked to his attorney Wednesday before entering the plea. He told a judge earlier this month he wanted to plead guilty “as soon as possible” in the death of 25-year-old Thomas William Brannon.

An investigator testified that Spence said he and Brannon committed a series of burglaries in Kentucky just before he killed Brannon in December 1984 by hitting him with a bat and running him over with a car.

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Brannon’s body was found in a western Illinois quarry in 1985.

Authorities say Spence then assumed Brannon’s identity. He has not been charged with murder.