Auburn teenager charged in deaths of Tigers play-by-play announcer Rod Bramblett, wife


Johnston Edward Taylor, a 16-year-old from Auburn, Alabama, has been arrested and charged as an adult with two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of former Auburn play-by-play broadcaster Rod Bramblett and his wife, Paula. He was booked into Lee County Jail on July 1 and held on $50,000 bond, according to Auburn Police.

According to, Taylor was driving between 89 and 91 mph and accelerating on May 25 on Shug Jordan Parkway -- which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph -- when he slammed into the back of the Bramblett's car. At the time of the crash, Bramblett and his wife were stopped at a traffic light. The Toxicological Analysis Report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences showed that Taylor's blood sample contained THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, at the time of the crash. 

Bramblett was an Auburn graduate (1988) and spent his entire professional career calling various sporting events in the Auburn area. He called Tigers baseball games in the 1990s, and took over as the primary play-by-play announcer for Auburn football and basketball games in 2002 after the passing of the legendary Jim Fyffe. 

He cemented his legacy on Nov. 23, 2013, when Auburn topped Alabama in the game that became famously known as the "Kick Six." Auburn defensive back and kick returner Chris Davis took a missed Alabama field goal 109 yards for a touchdown as time expired to give Auburn a 34-28 victory against the Crimson Tide, the SEC West crown and keep hope alive for a national championship. 

In his first season as the football voice of the Tigers, he belted out the call famously known as "Go, crazy, Cadillac." On the first play of the 2003 Iron Bowl vs. Alabama, Carnell Williams ran 80 yards for a touchdown. Prior to his work with the football and basketball teams, Bramblett was the primary voice of the baseball team. In 1997, he first made his mark with the call of David Ross' walk-off home run over Florida State in the NCAA super regional that sent Auburn to the College World Series.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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