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Guilty pleas in Branson Sanders murder

Three people charged in connection with the murder of 20-year-old Burnaby man Branson Sanders have pled guilty, say the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

Two men, Shakib Shakib of Burnaby and Brandon Nandan of Surrey, both 20, were originally charged with first-degree murder and carrying out an indignity to a human body but pled guilty to manslaughter on Dec. 5 at Surrey Provincial Court. Their sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 7, 2014.

A day earlier, on Dec. 4, a 17-year-old offender pled guilty to attempting to obstruct justice. That offender's sentencing hearing is set for March 18, 2014.

Sanders' severely burned body was found in bushes off Fareham Avenue and Elwell Road in Burnaby by someone walking their dog on Dec. 2, 2011. The location was near the George Derby Conservation Area adjacent to Robert Burnaby Park.

Sanders graduated from Cariboo Hill secondary and grew up at Mulberry Place, a housing complex, both nearby.

IHIT believes Sanders was killed in a home in the 18000-block of 55 Avenue in Surrey and his body dumped where it was found.

Media reports have said it's believed Sanders was killed after a fight at a house party.

It was March 2012 before Shakib and Nandan were arrested with the help of RCMP in Burnaby, Surrey, Clearwater, Kamloops and K Division in Alberta, as well as K Division's fugitive apprehension team.

The young offender was arrested in November 2012 and originally charged with first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to murder.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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