A Burton man on Thursday pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and asked for the maximum sentence in order to spare his mother a longer jail term.
Charles Brown, 29, and his mother, Nancy Kennedy, 56, were charged in connection with the deaths of 28-year-old Titus Singleton and 25-year-old Katherine Collier, Brown’s girlfriend at the time.
Both Brown and Kennedy pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon at the Beaufort County Courthouse and were sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen.
Brown, charged with two counts of murder and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, will serve two concurrent life sentences.
Kennedy, charged with two counts of accessory to murder after the fact, will serve 15 years maximum, suspended to three years with five years of probation, Mullen determined.
14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Deputy Solicitor Sean Thornton revealed in court that Brown’s negotiated plea with the solicitor’s office was initiated by Brown and his attorney Jim Bannon in the hopes that Kennedy would serve a less severe sentence. Brown will never be eligible for parole and has waived his right to appeal as part of the plea deal.
Thornton said he and the victims’ families were pleased with the results of the hearings.
“We were very glad to get some closure for the families,” he said. “He (Brown) is a very dangerous person. He’s exactly where he needs to be for exactly the amount of time he needs to be there.”
Brown’s brother, Olin Brown, pleaded guilty to two counts of accessory to murder in October in connection with Collier’s murder and was sentenced to 13 1/2 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles.
Bannon and Kennedy’s attorney, Robert Ferguson Jr., declined to comment after their clients’ respective hearings. The families of Singleton and Kennedy declined to comment through their attorneys. Collier’s family was present but left immediately after the hearing without commenting.