Jacksonville man accused of killing ex-fiance'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville man is accused of killing his former fiancé as she attempted to move out of town to tend to her elderly mother. Police say days after an abrupt end to their relationship, Charlotte Branton, 57 was found shot to death in her Southside home.

Monday afternoon police responded to a 911 call made by Robert Francis Schulze, 58. Deputies say he claimed to have found Branton shot in her apartment at The Retreat at St. Johns on Seascape Way. He was brought back in for questioning Wednesday morning according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and Schulze confessed to her murder.

Schulze is accused of shooting Branton in the head and waiting several hours before calling police. He initially told investigators he went to Branton's home to help her move and found her already shot.

Branton's friend, Tim Watson was sickened by the news of her death.

"She was so happy to be coming home," said Watson.

After living in Jacksonville for about a year, Branton was headed back home to Dothan, Alabama to care for her elderly mother.

"She said 'I can't wait to get my stuff out of Jacksonville and get back home. I'm so excited,'" said Watson.

Branson had a job in Dothan already lined up. But deputies believe Schulze had other plans. Engaged to be married, the two dated for five months and days after their separation she was found dead.

According to a JSO report Schulze's account of what happened Monday afternoon were "questionable." And a review of Branton's cell phone records appear to show she was afraid of him.

"Her spirit was just something that I haven't seen in a long time," said Watson

An exact motive has not been released. Schulze is charged with murder.


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