Pa. man sentenced to 52 years in murder of mother, found dead inside car

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 52 years in prison Monday inside a Hanover courtroom after pleading guilty to a first degree murder in the death of a 24-year-old woman.

In April, Willie J. Bibbs Sr., 65, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, agreed to a plea deal in the July 21, 2016 murder of 24-year-old Sharece Branche, also of Chambersburg.

Under the agreement, Bibbs plead guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 99 years in prison with 47 suspended, leaving an active term of 52 years in prison.

In exchange, prosecutors dropped three additional charges of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and use of a sawed-off shotgun.

Willie J. Bibbs Sr.

On July 21, 2016, deputies responded to a crash at about 12:20 p.m. in the 7000 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike, near Sujen Court.

Bibbs was involved in a single-vehicle crash after swerving to avoid hitting a truck.

Branche was located in the vehicle at the scene of the crash with a gunshot wound to the head. The young mother’s three-year-old daughter was also found unharmed in the vehicle.

Bibbs told investigators that he and Branche were once romantically involved. He said he committed the murder because he found out that she had become involved with another man.

Police believe the murder was committed somewhere along Interstate 64, but could not determine the exact location.

The Medical Examiner Office determined that Branche died from a single, near-contact shotgun wound to her head.