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"Armed and Dangerous" Suspect's Mother: "It's the power of Methamphetamines. It was not my son"

Police placed 28-year-old Brandon M. Slavens in custody for various crimes

January 28, 2012|Mary Moloney, Jason Crow | KSPR News Reporter, Photographer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The sun was shining over a northwest Springfield neighborhood Saturday. Kids, enjoying the weather, played on the streets while parents tended to the afternoon chores.

Suddenly, Springfield police cars pulled along the 700 block of Suburban Avenue.

"It was so crazy," exclaimed one neighbor. "I didn't know what to think!"

So she pulled out her cell phone and started taking video.

"I don't know, I just wanted to show it to my friends and stuff," the girl said.

Police, acting on a tip, went to the blue home looking for a "person of interest" in a variety of crimes.

Authorities believe 28-year-old Brandon M. Slavens led police on a car chase Thursday night from the intersection of Chestnut Expressway and College Street to North State Highway T. Police said Slavens crashed the vehicle he was in and ran from officers.

Early Friday morning, police were called to the 9000 block of State Highway 266 over a report of a home invasion. Police said Slavens forced his way into an elderly couple's home, put them in a closet, and attacked them. Both were sent to a hospital with serious, but not life threatening injuries.

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To read more about the the chase, click here.

Saturday afternoon, police found Slavens, also in a closet. They placed him in custody and took him to the Greene County Jail, without incident.

"Slavens was a threat to public safety," Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott said in a statement. The Sheriff characterized the man as "a serious criminal."

But to Phyllis Slavens, Brandon is simply known as her son.

Phyllis Slavens was in a state of disbelief after her son was taken away. The woman, whose face was stained with tears, shook her head when she head the accusations against her son.

"I don't believe he's capable of doing that. I don't believe that," she said.

Instead of the "suspect" whose mug shot was flashed on the nightly news, Brandon Slavens is her boy. He is one of four brothers --the middle one-- who used to hold two jobs in order to care for his family.

"My son is a very loving dad. The most important thing is his children. He loves his children more than he loves life himself," Slavens said, with tissues in her hand while pointing to two pictures of her smiling grandchildren.

She explained his life took a turn for the worse when he began using drugs.

"He started using drugs, meth, and it just destroyed him," she said sobbing. "And in the last months, he just kind of lost all self worth because that's what that drug does to people. It takes away everything, it's evil."

Brandon started hanging out with the wrong crowd and his mother knew addiction was a problem for her son. Yet, when he was advertised by police as being "armed and dangerous," she knew the drug had taken hold of her boy.

"It said he's armed and dangerous," Slavens said, overwhelmed with tears. "And I don't see my son doing something like that. But then I've seen what meth does to people and it totally changes you."

Before police took their suspect away, his mother told him she loved him and she was praying for him. He told her that he loved her and he loved his kids.

"It wasn't my son. It's the power of addiction and the drug that took him over. And as Brandon's mom, if he did it, he didn't mean to because it wasn't him. It wasn't him," she said firmly.

To the family who points to her son as their attacker, Phyllis hopes they forgive the man who she believes still has a good heart.

"I can understand people and the anger and the frustration. I understand that. I do. And the hurt and the pain, I do understand that. I do," said Slavens dabbing her eyes. "I'm sorry. And if it was my son that done that, he didn't mean too."

Phyllis hopes her son will receive the treatment that she says he needs. She is also asking for prayers, not just for her family, but to all who struggle with addiction.

As for her son, he is in the Greene County Jail awaiting charges.

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