MARYVILLE, TN –   Brandon Randall Lunsford, one of the four defendants in the Larry Joe Wheelon Blount County, Tennessee horse soring case, was killed Saturday,   November 22, 2014 in an automobile accident.   Lunsford worked for several years as a stable hand for Larry Joe Wheelon in his Tennessee Walking Horse training operation.

Lunsford was indicted in December 2013 by a Blount County Grand Jury on aggravated cruelty to animals charges.   ln July 2014,   Blount County Circuit Judge Tammy Harrington granted Lunsford’s Motion For Preliminary Hearing which was set before Blount County General Sessions Judge Robert Headrick for December 15, 2014


BLOUNT COUNTY DEFENDANTS - (Left to Right - Larry Joe Wheelon, Randall Stacy Gunter, Blake Primm, Brandon Lunsford - Deceased)

BLOUNT COUNTY DEFENDANTS – (Left to Right – Larry Joe Wheelon, Randall Stacy Gunter, Blake Primm, Brandon Lunsford – Deceased)


“One killed, one injured in Blount pickup crash

News Sentinel staff
5:36 PM, Nov 22, 2014
7:08 PM, Nov 22, 2014
Amy Smotherman Burgess

One man is dead and another injured after a truck ran off the road and struck several trees before ejecting both men early Saturday in Blount County, authorities said.

Neither wore a seat belt, officials said.

Passenger Brandon Randell Lunsford, 33, of Maryville, was taken by Rural/Metro ambulance to Blount Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a Blount County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Driver Ryan Scott Wilson, 20, of Maryville, was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. His condition wasn’t immediately available.

Authorities said the crash occurred at about 2:45 a.m. on New Blockhouse Road at Warbler Way. Wilson was driving the truck northbound when he lost control of the truck on a right-hand curve, and the vehicle rotated counter-clockwise until it struck several trees on the passenger side of the truck, officials said.

The truck then overturned, skidded across the road and came to rest on the right side of the road, authorities said.

Lunsford was hurled from the vehicle, and Wilson was partially ejected and was pinned under the truck bed, officials said.

Blount County Fire Department crews extricated Wilson and took him to a helicopter landing zone set up at the Chilhowee View Community Club on Wilkinson Pike and Blockhouse Road.”



Obituary – Brandon Randall Lunsford

Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2014 12:00 am

“Beloved son and father, Brandon Randall Lunsford, 33, of Weaverville, N.C., was called home Nov. 22, 2014, as a result of a tragic automobile accident. Brandon was born in Asheville, N.C. and resided in Maryville, where he was employed as a professional horse trainer with Wheelon Stables. Many thanks to owners Larry and Linda Wheelon for their years of love and support. In addition to training and showing horses, Brandon loved to fish and hunt ginseng. He was a member of Piney Mountain Baptist Church, Weaverville, N.C. Preceding him in death are his father, Randall Lunsford, of Weaverville, N.C.; grandparents, Eddie Jay Clinton, of Barnardsville, N.C.; Carroll Lunsford, of Weaverville, N.C.; and George and Lala Shipman, of Weaverville, N.C.; special aunt and uncle, Sandra, and Kenneth Lunsford, of Weaverville, N.C. Brandon’s legacy lives on as he is survived by his two young sons, Riley, and Larry “LJ” Lunsford, who reside with Brandon’s mother and stepfather, Vicki, and Willie Ray Shipman, of Weaverville, N.C. Also surviving in the Weaverville area are grandmothers, Rosalee Clinton, and Eva Worley (husband Cleates); stepbrother, Jeff Shipman, (wife Angie); aunts and uncles, Vivian Clinton, Tim Clinton, Mary Ann Shipman, Grace Lunsford (husband Gordon, deceased), Gerald Ball, and Shawn Coates; stepmother, Rose Lunsford and her children Luke and Jennifer Mace; aunt, Carolyn Drake (husband Danny), of Dandridge, Tenn.; a very special first cousin, Amber Ball Sanfilippo (husband Zac), of Asheville, N.C.; stepsister, Jessica Shipman (Dave Bailey) of Winston-Salem, N.C. ; and fiancée, Leann Moore, of Maryville; many nieces, nephews and special friends who loved him dearly. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, at Memorial Funeral Home, 610 Washington St., Maryville, with Reverend Larry Crouch officiating; and, again at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, Broyhill Chapel, Mars Hill University, 265 Cascade St., Mars Hill, NC, with Reverend Garry Rogers officiating. The family will receive friends in the respective chapels immediately following each service. As a tribute to his life and love of horses, those wishing to attend the memorial services please feel free to wear boots and blue jeans. Brandon’s family wishes to express their deepest gratitude for the outpouring of sympathy and acts of kindness related to his tragic and early passing. Brandon was a sweet beautiful soul. He lived strong and loved stronger and will not be soon forgotten.”