Man accused in Sandfly murder makes first court appearance - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Man accused in Sandfly murder makes first in-person court appearance

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Brandon Mackey (Source: SCMPD) Brandon Mackey (Source: SCMPD)

The man accused of killing Wesley Franklin at Deb's Pub and Grub in Sandfly one year ago appeared in front of a packed courtroom in person for the first time Thursday. 

In May, Brandon Mackey was brought to the Chatham County Jail after a multi-day extradition from Texas. Police say an anonymous tip in April led to Mackey's arrest.

The FBI is now using face recognition technology to determine whether Mackey's face matches the killer seen in surveillance video. WTOC asked Wesley Franklin's mother what it was like to see Mackey in the flesh for the first time.

"To be honest with you, I felt like I was going to throw up," said Delane Reese, Wesley Franklin's mother.

Franklin's family is hopefully Mackey will plead guilty. Detective Christopher Ross with the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department testified Thursday that Mackey confessed to the crime. Ross says Mackey was wearing the jacket shown in surveillance video of the robbery and shooting when he was picked up by police in Texas. Authorities found the magazine from the gun used in the homicide at Mackey's house.

"If he's man enough to confess, then let justice be served. I don't think there is any second guessing in this case," said Jimmy Franklin, Wesley Franklin's father.

If the case goes to trail, Mackey's live-in girlfriend Ranisha White may be a key witness. Ross testified that Mackey confided in her that he killed Franklin.

"He and Ranisha had gotten into an argument. He said he decided to go for a drive to clear his head. He said that he circled Deb's about three or four times. And then he parked his vehicle a half a block away and he waited for the opportunity to present itself," said Ross.

Police say that opportunity happened when two young women, Kara and Samantha Simons, stood outside with their purses. Ross said Mackey told his girlfriend and co-workers about the crime, saying shooting Franklin was an accident. According to authorities, Mackey said the bar's door opened, he was startled and fired through the wall, hitting Franklin inside.

"Accident or not, if you wield a firearm, a loaded weapon, and pull the trigger, you are responsible for your bullet," said Ross.

According to authorities, Mackey is former military and a father of two.

Mackey faces several charges on top of a murder charge, including theft by taking, two counts of computer fraud, two counts of forgery and two counts of armed robbery. 

The case bound up to superior court on Thursday.

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