Man accused of fatally shooting firefighter pleads not guilty - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Man pleads not guilty in fatal shooting case

Brandon Mackey (Source: Chatham Co. Detention Center) Brandon Mackey (Source: Chatham Co. Detention Center)

Brandon Mackey entered a not guilty plea in Superior Court on Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors say they believe that he will change his mind and make it a guilty plea at an open-ended hearing scheduled in January.

Mackey is facing murder charges after he allegedly shot Isle of Hope firefighter Wesley Franklin in an attempted robbery outside of Deb's Pub and Grub in 2012.  

Right now, the District Attorney's office is seeking life without the possibility for parole if Mackey pleads guilty. If Mackey does not change his plea, then he will face a jury trial and could potentially face an even harsher punishment.

The court room was filled with Wesley Franklin's family members who were not surprised by Monday's outcome.

"From the very beginning there has been enough evidence that's been put forth," said Franklin's father Jimmy Franklin. "I don't really see any way out of it for Mackey, there's just too much against him."

The open-ended plea date is scheduled to happen in early January, and if Mackey pleads guilty, witnesses on both sides of the case will be asked to speak.

Franklin's mother says that will be extremely difficult because regardless of what happens, what's done is done.

"Mackey's still fortunate because he still gets to eat, he gets to breathe, his family gets to see him," said Delane Reese, Franklin's mother. "Wesley is in my heart but I will never get to touch, feel, or hear his voice."

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