COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — A man who faced the death penalty in the deaths of his girlfriend and their infant son has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty.
Brandon David Conner, 42, faced charges including murder, aggravated battery, arson and using a knife to commit a felony in the August 2014 deaths of 32-year-old Rosella “Mandy” Mitchell and 6-month-old Dylan Ethan Conner. He's accused of killing both of them before setting fire to the house.
Judge William Rumer on Friday accepted the guilty plea Conner had negotiated with prosecutors and sentenced him to serve life without parole plus five years, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Mitchell's family didn't speak at the hearing but filed victim-impact statements with the court, the newspaper reported. They agreed with the plea deal, said District Attorney Mark Jones, who was elected in November and took office in January.
“Brandon Conner will never be free again to harm anyone else, ever, period,” Jones said after the hearing. “And so, that’s a victory. That’s definitely how I feel about it: We got him.”
One of Conner's attorneys, Emily Gilbert, said Conner declined to address the court, fearing he would be overwhelmed by his emotions.
“We are grateful at least that this process will come to a close today,” Gilbert said, speaking on her client's behalf.