Mackey pleas to three concurrent life sentences - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Mackey pleas to three concurrent life sentences in death of firefighter


Brandon Mackey pleaded guilty Thursday in Chatham County Superior Court to the June 2012 death of firefighter Wesley Franklin.

As part of the plea, Mackey will serve three concurrent life sentences plus twelve months felony murder, two armed robberies and theft by taking.

Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap agreed to the negotiated plea only after consulting with the Franklin family.

Around 2 a.m. on June 25, 2012, Mackey wearing a red bandana over his mouth and armed with a 9 mm pistol approached two women outside a Sandfly bar.

During the robbery of the women, Mackey fired multiple gunshots into the wall of the bar, one of which struck Franklin, who was inside the bar. A short while later, the Isle of Hope firefighter died of a single gunshot wound to the heart.

In fall of 2012, Mackey moved to Texas.

Mackey was found using video cameras and an anonymous tip from someone who said he knew Mackey. Additional interviews from co-workers and Mackey's 2005 Dodge Durango helped build the case.

In May 2013, SCMPD detectives travelled to Texas where they arrested Mackey on a murder warrant.

Following the arrest, Mackey admitted to owning the Durango and firing multiple gunshots during the robbery of the two women. He admitted to killing Franklin. He waived extradiction and returned to Savannah at that time.

"You know- you never know with a jury. We felt like we had a strong case but you just never know. And this is something solid. We could put everything up and a jury might not see what we see. So this way he accepted responsibility. The family got to hear him say that he was guilty," District Attorney Meg Heap said. 

Mackey said that he stripped the 9 mm gun used in the robbery and dropped part of it on the Truman Parkway and part off a bridge. Mackey admitted that a 9 mm magazine with eight bullets found in his Texas home came from that gun.

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