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Former JW murders alleged molester
South Carolina former marine kills man that was alleged to molest three boys
Anger caused ex-Marine to kill man, kin say
Accused man thought the victim had abused three boys, family says in his defense
By Patrick Wilson
Friday, April 8, 2005


A former Marine charged with killing a family friend during an argument Wednesday night was angry because he believed that the man had sexually abused three boys, family members said yesterday.

Ronald Denard West, 45, of 635 Kapp St. was shot in the chest and killed about 9:30 p.m., Winston-Salem police said.

Police charged Jonathan Gabriel Braham, 29, of 3018 Patterson Ave. with murder.

West lived with his brother, Donald West. Donald West's daughter, Tashika Ancrum, her husband, Reginald Ancrum, and their family live with Braham and his wife, Charm Braham, and their two children.

They said they went to a cookout at West's house on Tuesday.

Later, Braham walked to West's house on Wednesday after he learned about the abuse allegations, Charm Braham said yesterday.

Jonathan Braham called police late Wednesday night or early yesterday and told them that he would turn himself in at a car wash near his house, his wife said. The police came and picked him up.

The Winston-Salem Journal generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Detectives continued looking into the death yesterday, police Lt. Mike Flowe said.

"He did turn himself in," Flowe said. "He initiated contact with the police, and that's how we located him."

Records from the separation and retirement branch of the Marine Corps' personnel-management division show that Braham joined the Marines on Jan. 1, 2001, and was discharged as a private on March 11, 2004. He was a mortarman.

His record of discharge was not available yesterday, a Marine spokesman said.

Reginald Ancrum, who served in the Marines with Braham, said he thinks that Braham was given a type of administrative discharge because of illness.

"He couldn't handle the Marine Corps no more," Ancrum said.

He and Charm Braham described Braham as a man who loved his family, was willing to help others and knew Bible Scriptures well.

Charm Braham said that her husband decided to join the military to earn a living and help pay her medical bills after she had a stroke. He did so despite being a Jehovah's Witness and having uncertainties about the military, she said. "He decided to put his belief on the backburner," she said.

Charm Braham said that her husband was deployed in Iraq for about six months, returning to Camp Lejeune in the fall of 2003. She said she did not know the circumstances of his discharge.

They lived in the Washington area before he joined the Marines but decided to move to Winston-Salem after he was discharged, she said. He had family in the Triad, and Ancrum suggested they move to Winston-Salem.

"We wanted to start over, instead of going right back to D.C.," she said.

Her husband had a temper after returning from the war, and did not go to church, she said.

He was more reserved, "not saying anything, just sitting back and observing," she said. "Any little thing just set him off.''

Though she asked him about his experiences in Iraq, he wouldn't say much about them, she said. "He said he had a job to do, he went and did it, and that's it," she said.

Braham is being held in the Forsyth County Jail with no bond allowed.

A first court appearance is scheduled for today.

Lanena Wardlow, a niece of Ronald West, said that West was caring toward his family.

"I just can't see why anybody would take his life," Wardlow said. "He didn't bother nobody."

" Patrick Wilson can be reached at 727-7286 or at

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