The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office plans to dismiss the state charges levied against convicted murderer Brandon Council, but prosecutors maintain they still have the opportunity to pursue that case if they want to.
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said he spoke with family members of the two women Council gunned down during the Aug. 21, 2017, robbery about the pros and cons of different options, and that the families support the decision.
“They’re in total agreement,” he said.
Earlier this month, a federal jury sentenced Council to death at the conclusion of his weeks-long trial in Florence.
The jury had found the Wilson, North Carolina, man guilty of two counts — bank robbery resulting in death and use of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime in a manner that constitutes murder — after he killed bank employees Katie Skeen and Donna Major during a robbery at the CresCom Bank branch on 16th Avenue in Conway.
Attorneys described how Council committed two robberies in his home state before heading to Conway.
He stayed at the Conway Express Inn near the bank for a few days before the murders.
The day of the robbery, he shot both Skeen and Major multiple times before fleeing in Skeen’s Chrysler.
Council headed to North Carolina, where he shopped, partied and paid for a Mercedes-Benz before was apprehended by police two days after the crime.
During an interview with federal agents, he confessed to the murders.
Apart from the federal case, Council has faced state charges of two counts of murder, armed robbery, entering a bank with intent to steal, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, sale or delivery of pistol to, and possession by, certain persons unlawful; stolen pistol, and grand larceny after being served warrants by the Conway Police Department.
In a different case resulting in the death penalty, Dylann Roof — the white supremacist convicted of murdering nine black worshippers at a Charleston church in 2015 — was convicted in federal court and pleaded guilty to state murder charges.
“We felt it was best in these circumstances … not to offer [Council] some sort of plea deal,” Richardson said.
Richardson explained the state charges would be voided, but that Council could be re-indicted by an Horry County Grand Jury in the future. He said new warrants would not have to be obtained.
Council is currently being held at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, according to information from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.