Federal Grand Jury indicts on CresCom robbery, murders

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     A federal indictment has been returned against Brandon Michael Council in last month’s bank robbery and double murder in Conway, U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said Wednesday.

     A Federal Grand Jury sitting in Columbia returned the three-count indictment Wednesday, charging Council with armed bank robbery resulting in death, us of a firearm in furtherance of a crime resulting in death constituting murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Brandon Michael Council

     Council, 32, of Wilson, could be sentenced to death or life in prison without the possibility if convicted of either of the first two counts, a news release from Drake’s office said.

     Council entered a CresCom Bank branch in Conway in the early afternoon of Aug. 21, the indictment said, planning to rob the bank and kill its employees.

     Soon after entering the bank “Council drew a revolver and shot bank teller Donna Major multiple times,” the indictment said. “Defendant Brandon Michael Council then ran into a nearby office where he shot bank manager Kathryn Skeen as she sheltered under her desk. Defendant Brandon Michael Council then proceeded to take more than $15,000 in cash from the bank before fleeing.”

     Skeen, from Green Sea, and Major, of Conway, died in the bank, the crime prompting an outpouring of grief and support in the community, and prompting a manhunt that ended two days later in Greenville, North Carolina, where Council was spotted in a vehicle and arrested after a brief foot chase.

     Council will face a U.S. Magistrate Judge for arraignment at the McMillan Federal Courthouse in Florence “in the coming weeks,” the news release said.

     Look for more on this story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.