Case of OC man accused of murder continuing through court system

The case of an Oil City man accused of killing his girlfriend at their Mineral Street home and then putting her body in a barrel continues to make its way through the Venango County court system.

An upcoming step in the case of Brandon Wells, 46, would be jury selection for a potential trial.

The county district attorney’s office said a trial for Wells will happen no earlier than March 2023.

Oil City police found the body of Brierlie Walters, 39, in a 55-gallon drum March 5 at the residence Wells and Walters shared at 12 Mineral St.

Wells told police he had located Walters on a bed in the residence and placed her body in the drum so her three minor children who lived at the residence would not see her body, police said.

Police detained Wells and checked the residence, where they verified that a dead woman was in a drum in an upstairs bedroom, police said.

Walters appeared to have injuries to her face, arm and upper torso, as well as a “small amount of what is considered to be petechial hemorrhage,” police said.

Wells, who has been lodged in the Venango County jail since his arrest, was held for further court proceedings following a three-hour preliminary hearing May 19 in Venango County Central Court.

He waived his arraignment in the Court of Common Pleas in June, and a criminal pre-trial conference in his case was held Aug. 5, according to court documents.

In August, Wells was charged with first-degree murder, replacing a previous charge of murder in the third degree, court documents note.

A felony count of drug delivery resulting in death was also added to the list of charges against Wells, according to court documents.

In addition to the two charges added in August, Wells has been charged with felony counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and criminal attempt — manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, three felony counts of endangering the welfare of children, and misdemeanor counts of possession of controlled substances, use/possession of drug paraphernalia and abuse of a corpse.


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