CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Wednesday marks two years since two employees at Conway’s CresCom Bank were killed during an armed robbery.
Brandon Council is accused of killing Donna Major and Katie Skeen during the robbery on Aug. 21, 2017.
Police say Council walked into the bank around 1 p.m. that day. He reportedly had a brief conversation with one employee before police say he shot and killed her and the other employee during the robbery. Council reportedly got away with more than $15,000. Authorities were searching for him for two days before he was arrested in North Carolina.
Police say Council admitted to both of the shootings.
As Council’s trial nears, attorney Billie Monckton, who has been on the prosecution and defense sides of other defense penalty cases, spoke with WMBF News on what’s going on now ahead of the trial when it comes to selecting a jury.
“The government’s going to be looking at it on the perspective of people who could not give the death penalty and the defense will be looking at it on the perspective of people that already have pre-conceived notions and ideas on what they should do. So they’ll be separating on who they should exclude on both sides," Monckton said.
The process to select at jury in this case begins Monday. Groups of possible jurors who already filled out questionnaires will come to federal court in Florence.
On September 9, the trial process will begin. First with the selection of the final 12 jurors, then the guilt and penalty phases, where new information will come to light to decide Council’s fate.
“They’re going to be presented with information and evidence that you and I have not seen for obvious reasons,” Monckton said.
Council has waived his right to have a jury select any sentence other than life in prison or death, if he is convicted. Monckton said while the guilt phase is factual, emotions will run high as part of the decision making in the penalty phase.
“You’re going to go all the way back to the childhood of Mr. Council. And what was his life upbringing. Was there something... are there mental deficiencies because once you get to that part the guilt is not up for discussion it’s what penalties are," Monckton said.
Council will also be able to call his family members and friends to the stand to talk about how his potential penalty will impact them.