Husband of missing Indiana woman not guilty in unrelated Coweta stalking case

A man considered a person of interest in his wife’s February disappearance was found not guilty Thursday in an unrelated stalking case in Coweta County.

After the jury deliberated for 14 minutes, Xavier Breland was found not guilty of aggravated stalking, his attorney, Bryan Howard, confirmed to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via email Saturday.

“He was very emotional,” Howard told Channel 2 Action News after Thursday’s verdict. “He showed a lot of emotion because this has been some very hard times for him. He’s been vilified throughout this process unfairly. And it was good to get a little bit of justice.”

Breland, 37, was previously arrested March 2 in Hamilton County, Indiana, on an outstanding warrant. He was accused of planting a GPS tracking device in a stuffed animal, then sending it to a Newnan woman’s home without her consent in March 2021, according to the warrant obtained by the AJC. Detectives said he then violated a restraining order by sending the woman harassing text messages in June 2021.

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The arrest came in the midst of an active investigation into the disappearance of his wife, 31-year-old Ciera Breland, whom he reported missing from their home in Indiana in late February. Xavier Breland remains a person of interest for investigators in Johns Creek and Hamilton County, authorities confirmed to Channel 2.

Both police agencies are investigating the woman’s disappearance and have not ruled out foul play. Investigators declared Xavier Breland a person of interest in the case in March. Ciera Breland has yet to be found.

“He’s cooperated with police. He’s made statements to the police and tried to help them in any way possible,” Howard told Channel 2 regarding the disappearance.

Authorities said Ciera Breland was in Georgia the week of Feb. 20 visiting family in Johns Creek along with her husband, their 5-month-old son and their white labradoodle. According to Johns Creek detectives, she was last seen in Georgia on Feb. 24 at a home on Highgate Manor Court.

Credit: Courtesy of Shelby Campbell, cousin

Credit: Courtesy of Shelby Campbell, cousin

The FBI, which is assisting in the investigation and offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Ciera Breland’s recovery, said in March there is no evidence she ever returned home to Indiana from the family trip.

Ciera Breland’s parents told Channel 2 that they don’t believe their daughter will come back home alive, but her father does pray about it, “all the time, 24/7,” he said.

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Another criminal case against Breland, in which he is charged with aggravated stalking, remains open in Fulton County, court records show. But Howard said he will argue for that charge to be dismissed.

“Because the prosecutor, Matthew Swope, used the Fulton County case to try and prove the Coweta case, the Fulton County case should be dismissed on double jeopardy grounds,” Howard said.