correction: a typo in an earlier version of this listed a date as August 1, not August 31
Thomas Bruner, the former Page High School student currently in Williamson County Jail pending charges in the death of his ex-girlfriend in August, has not yet been indicted by a grand jury.
Originally, his case was bound over to the October grand jury, but the District Attorney’s office decided to push their presentation, asking for formal murder charges to the Nov. 7 meeting of the Williamson County grand jury.
Grand Jury presentations can be postponed for numerous reasons, such as a continuing investigation, and that is not extraordinary. The District Attorney does not comment on cases before they go before a grand jury, according to Mary White with the DA’s office.
According to the arrest warrant, on the night Bruner was arrested, he told Williamson County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Couey that he shot Britney Cole in the back of the head on Saturday, Aug. 20, while they were on Cross Keys Road near the community of Bethesda. Cole was 21-years-old. Couey added that Bruner “failed to render aid to Ms. Cole and did not notify law enforcement of the events.”
In court on Aug. 31, with the Public Defender’s office representing him, Bruner had his case bound over to the grand jury by Judge Denise Andre after she decided there was enough probable cause that a crime had been committed, according to court documents. The grand jury will decide whether or not there is probable cause to indict Bruner in the murder, with the DA presenting witnesses.
Bruner is being held in the Williamson County Jail on $1 million bond.
Cole was found dead Aug. 22 off Cross Keys Road near Bethesda. Her identity and the circumstances of her death remained unknown until five days later, when the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation held a press conference to announce they had identified her and had arrested Bruner, her boyfriend.
Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Long told reporters Cole had been shot by a handgun.
Cole and Bruner, who Long said used to be in a relationship, shared the same address near the Wilson and Smith County line. Authorities interviewed Bruner in Lebanon, in which he gave a statement before being arrested and charged.