Man arrested in NC faces murder charges for deadly SC bank robbery

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Court documents reveal Brandon Michael Council, the North Carolina man believed to have killed two innocent women in Conway, admitted to the murders.

The affidavit in support of criminal complaint related to Council’s arrest says on Aug 15, six days prior to the CresCom robbery and murders, surveillance footage from the Conway Express Inn captured a white 1999 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with two men and a woman unloading luggage and carrying it into room 110 of the hotel.

FBI agents say one of the men in that minivan was “a black male with long dreadlocks resembling Council.”

Officials were able to run the license plate of the minivan, which came back to Melissa Taylor Fogg, 51, of Wilson, NC. Police spoke with Fogg Aug. 21, the day Council purportedly murdered two employees inside the Conway bank.

During the interview, Fogg told police that she and another person, Daryl Artis, dropped Council off at the Conway Express Inn on Aug. 15. Before Fogg and Artis left the motel, they saw Council stomp on his cell phone, attempting to destroy it. The alleged killer then removed the battery and the SIM card from the damaged phone.

Motel surveillance video shows Council leaving room 110 “on foot dressed in a distinctive blue striped polo style shirt and blue jean pants.” Council was then captured on surveillance video entering CresCom bank, located at 1230 16th Ave. in Conway. Council is captured on the CresCom video at 1:13 p.m. wearing the same clothing also shown in the motel surveillance video.

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.”

Court documents show that Council was caught on video driving away in a white 2013 Chrysler 200 belonging to one of the victims of the robbery. The other victim drove a Honda, whose vehicle key fob was missing when police arrived at the scene. Documents confirm “multiple bank credit cards belonging to each of the victims” were also missing.

“Bank audits showed a loss amount of $15,294,” documents state.

Just seven minutes after Council is seen on bank surveillance video, he returns to the Conway Express Inn in the victim’s car. The presumed killer leaves the driver side door open, grabs luggage from room 110, throws it in the trunk of the car and drives away, the affidavit describes.

On Wednesday, Council was spotted by “surveillance units” driving a white Mercedes Benz leaving a motel parking lot in Greenville, NC. Officers responded to Council’s location, and the accused murderer tried to run. Council was taken into custody after a short chase, documents report. Council was searched after being captured and was “found to be in possession of his NC identification card and key fobs for Chrysler and Honda vehicles.”

Council waived his rights and agreed to talk with police.

Council confessed to the CresCom bank robbery, court documents state. “Council further admitted to shooting both bank employees during the course of the robbery. Council told agents that he was desperate, he needed money and that he knew he was going to shoot someone.”

FBI agents document in the affidavit that Council said he “knew that he was going to hurt somebody that day.” He admitted to police that he watched a movie called Get Rich or Die Trying. Then, the man accused of killing two women during a bank robbery, told police “he did not deserve to live.”

Council is also a suspect in a bank robbery in Wilson, NC. Council was identified as the prime suspect in the robbery of the BB&T bank located on South Tarboro Street in Wilson, NC on Aug. 11.

“A review of Council’s criminal record shows that on March 16, 2011, Council was convicted in North Carolina for ‘habitual felon’ and ‘larceny great than $1,000.’” The accused killer’s probation for the 2011 charges ended 11 days prior to the BB&T bank robbery.

Just 10 days later, Council killed two CresCom bank employees in Conway and stole $15,240, documents claim. Council will be in federal court in Greenville, NC Thursday at 2 p.m.


CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The man Conway police identified as a person of interest in the murders of two CresCom bank employees Monday afternoon has been taken into police custody in North Carolina.

While police identified Brandon Council as a person of interest in the case Tuesday, in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says officials are seeking charges including two counts of murder, bank robbery, grand larceny, armed robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and felon in possession of a weapon.

“Brandon Council has been arrested without incident in Greenville, North Carolina by the Greenville North Carolina Police Department,” Richardson announced. “Immediately we began pursuing charges to include two counts of murder, one count of entering a bank with the intent to steal, grand larceny, armed robbery, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and felon in possession of a pistol.”

During the press conference, officials thanked local law enforcement for their efforts and also announced funds have been set up for the families of Donna Major and Katie Skeen through NewSpring Church and Advancing the Kingdom Church, respectively. Donations can be dropped off at either church or at any CresCom Bank branch.

Conway Mayor Barbara Blain Bellamy spoke first at the press conference, repeatedly referencing the families of the victims and the town’s committment to support them through this unimaginable time.

“Evil lurks even in quiet and beautiful communities such as ours, but we will never believe evil is greater than good,” Mayor Bellamy concluded.

Lt. Selena Small with the Conway Police Department wrapped up the press conference by thanking the community for calling in tips and sharing information through social media.

“We can’t fix what happened but we hope that we can bring closure and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Lt. Small.

Conway police officials also say they no longer looking for the car Council used to run from the scene of the deadly bank robbery.

Greenville Police Department Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter says Brandon Council was apprehended Wednesday afternoon.

Greenville officials say an anonymous person called in a tip around 12 p.m. Wednesday that they saw who they believed to be Brandon Council, the person of interest in a Conway bank robbery that resulted in the murder of two employees. The caller gave a description of Council’s car.

Greenville police located the car and conducted a traffic stop near the Baymont Inn, located at 3439 South Memorial Drive, in Greenville. Police say Council attempted to run but was apprehended a short time later.

Two other people in the car with Council were also taken into police custody for questioning, but have not been arrested. Their names have not been released.

The Greenville Police Department credits a community member for Council’s apprehension.

At 1:13 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Horry County police announced Council’s arrest on the department’s Facebook page. Shortly after posting the update, Horry County police deleted the post and the tweet confirming his arrest.

Horry County Police initially announced the arrested of Council, but deleted the post within minutes. (Image Source: Screenshot of HCPD Facebook post)

Lt. Selena Small with Conway police released a statement clarifying that they’re waiting for confirmation that the subject in custody is, in fact, Brandon Council.

“The subject’s identity HAS NOT been confirmed and we must confirm the identity before we can officially state this,” Lt. Small stated in an email.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents were in Loris Wednesday morning related to Monday’s deadly Conway bank robbery. After Horry County police released the person of interest had been captured, Conway Police Department Lt. Selena Small announced that she had confirmed with SLED that nothing was found or confirmed in the Loris area.

According to SLED spokesperson Thom Berry, agents were on the ground in the Loris community Wednesday, but he could not confirm if it is believed that the person of interest in the case is in the area. Berry also confirmed that SLED has a helicopter surveying the Loris community from the air.

Conway police named Brandon Michael Council, 32, of Wilson, North Carolina as a person of interest in the CresCom bank robbery that resulted in the death of two employees Monday afternoon.

Lt. Selena Small with the Conway Police Department says officers responded to a bank alarm at CresCom around 1:16 p.m. Monday. When officers arrived, they located two employees inside the bank who had died from injuries sustained during the robbery, confirms Lt. Small.

Tuesday afternoon, Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden identified the victims as 59-year-old Donna Major from Conway and Kathryn “Katie” Skeen, 36, from Green Sea.

The press conference was originally planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday at the City of Conway Public Safety Building located at 1600 Ninth Avenue, but later postponed to 4 p.m. Lt. Small says a number of agencies will be involved in the announcement, including the City of Conway, Conway Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and CresCom Bank.

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