Alleged shooter tries to plead guilty during arraignment

DOWNTOWN JACKSON, Tenn. — The woman accused in a deadly shooting in downtown Jackson made her first court appearance Friday.

Court papers revealed Shurnue Bratton, 60, was found with a spent 9-millimeter shell casing and the victim’s property. Investigators said Bratton admitted to shooting Betsy Raines, 60, and taking her car, purse and phone.

Bratton heard the charges against her Friday morning. Court papers said Raines, an employee at Casey, Simmons, and Bryant PLLC, was shot in the back of the head at the law firm Thursday.

“The office appeared to have been ransacked, and property of the victim including her purse, phone, and car were missing,” Jackson City Court Judge Blake Anderson said.

Court papers said a witness saw Bratton leave the parking lot in Raines’ car. Bratton was fired from the law firm earlier this year, according to an affidavit.

“The woman had no expression,” Denise Lewis said. “I didn’t know if it was the shooter or not, and come to find out later, it was.”

Lewis works across the street from where Bratton was arrested. “I locked my door,” Lewis said. “Next thing I know, there’s a woman walking up to the door, looking at some dolls smoking a cigarette and Ronda asked me who it was.”

Lewis captured several photos as police questioned the suspect.

Bratton told the judge Friday she had a case pending out of Davidson County for credit card fraud. She also admitted to having an alcohol problem.

Bratton told the judge she “obviously had mental problems” and asked the judge if she could plead guilty and be sentenced.

Judge Anderson asked that she first meet with a lawyer.

“My heart goes out to the family because it was a beautiful woman,” Lewis said. “She has kids, grandkids, family, and I just couldn’t imagine.”

Bratton is currently being held without bond. She faces charges of first degree murder, first degree murder in perpetration of especially aggravated robbery, a gun count and two counts of tampering with evidence.

Bratton will undergo a mental evaluation before she returns to court.

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