Crime

Man offers plea deal in Conway double murder, bank robbery

Brandon Council
Brandon Council

Brandon Council offered to plea guilty and serve life in prison without parole for charges related to a double murder and bank robbery at the Conway CresCom in August 2017.

Council, of Wilson, North Carolina, was indicted in September 2017 for armed robbery resulting in death, using a firearm in a violent crime that resulted in murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Police say he shot Kathryn "Katie" Davis Skeen and Donna Major during a robbery at the CresCom Bank in Conway on Aug. 21.

Last week, federal prosecutors filed their intent to seek the death penalty in the case.

Council's defense attorneys stated in a court filing that Council "immediately" made the offer to plead guilty and serve life behind bars. Defense attorneys argued that Council is mindful of the victim's families concerns and it is why made the offer.

The offer's details were included in a court document as the sides argued about whether to delay a hearing scheduled for later this week. A federal judge agreed to hold that hearing in early April.

The filing does not state when the offer was presented and its current status.

Jimmy Richardson, 15th Judicial District Solicitor, said the offer only applied to the federal case as Council also faces state charges. Richardson said they still plan to pursue the state case no matter what federal prosecutors decide.

Richardson said he doubted federal officials would accept the offer.

Calls to federal prosecutors in South Carolina as well as Council's defense attorneys were not returned in time for this report.

In the filing seeking the death penalty, U.S. Attorneys noted there were aggravating factors as part of the crime.

"Brandon Michael Council displayed particular cruelty and callous disregard for human life by shooting both victims, who were unknown to him, multiple times at close range without warning and without provocation or resistance from the in spite of the fact that such violence was not necessary to successfully complete the robbery of the CresCom bank," the filing read.

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