Brandon Council not being denied rights in jail, according to court documents

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A hearing to decide whether Brandon Council should be given access to “writing materials and relief from unduly harsh conditions of pretrial confinement” was canceled.

The hearing had been scheduled for today.

Council is accused of killing two people during a bank robbery in Conway in 2017. He’s awaiting trial in the Florence County Detention center and faces the death penalty.

Attorney’s for Council filed a motion last week for the Florence County Detention Center to move him from a maximum segregation unit to general population. He claims that by placing him in segregation, his constitutional rights are being violated.

According to the motion, detention center officials were denying Council access to a pencil and paper as he prepares for trial. The motion states that by being in segregation, he cannot effectively communicate with his legal team.

The government responded to the motion saying Council was in the maximum segregation unit because he kept breaking detention center rules. The government also said in its response that Council “is not being deprived of a reasonable opportunity for private consultation with his counsel nor the preparation of his defense.”

In the response, the government says it is not opposed to Council having reasonable access to writing materials, mail, and media and that he, “did have access to such materials until his decisions and misconduct while in custody led to his placement in the MSU.”

A hearing scheduled for Tuesday for a judge to hear the motion and the government’s response was canceled.

Council, of Wilson, North Carolina, is charged with two counts of murder, among other federal and state charges, related to the killings of the two CresCom Bank employees, Donna Major, of Conway, and Kathryn “Katie” Skeen, of Green Sea.

Court documents reveal Council admitted to the murders.

Bank video shows Council approach a teller and speaks with her briefly. “Council then pulls a firearm, points it at the teller and shoots her multiple times,” court documents state. “Council then jumps over the teller counter. Council is also captured locating a second female employee of the bank who was hiding underneath a desk. Upon finding her, the video captured Council shooting the employee multiple times as she attempts to hide under the desk.”

According to the US attorney general, Council could receive life without the possibility of parole or death for the first two federal charges.

Despite the evidence presented in court documents, Council’s lawyer asked the court to enter a not guilty plea in Oct. 2017.

Court documents filed in November showed Council’s defense team requested the trial to be continued to September 2019. The defense lawyers say they need more time to prepare.

The trial was originally set to begin January 2019. Court documents state jury selection with trial to follow will begin on or about Sept. 9, 2019.

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