Brothers returning to prison for life
by Kim Isaza
October 12, 2012 12:55 AM | 3931 views | 4 4 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Two brothers familiar with the state’s prison system will now make it their home forever after being convicted of 29 charges related to a string of armed robberies around Cobb in 2009.

Derrius Lamonte Mack, 30, and Christopher Antonio Mack, 28, were convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, false imprisonment, entering auto, and hijacking a vehicle. The attacks spanned from Oct. 23, 2009, to Nov. 4, 2009, at five businesses in Marietta, Austell and Vinings, including a Subway restaurant, two storage companies, and the Kim’s Cleaners on East Piedmont Road in east Cobb.

Both brothers were on probation for previous felony convictions at the time of the crimes. They were found not guilty of one armed robbery charged in the indictment.

Twelve people were victimized in the attacks, including at least five who were taken into back rooms of the businesses and hog-tied face down with electrical cords.

The 12-person jury returned its verdict late Wednesday after seven hours of deliberation that capped a three-week trial before Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert E. Flournoy III.

The brothers were sentenced Thursday morning to life in prison. Derrius Mack got life without parole under Georgia’s two-strikes law. Christopher Mack was sentenced to life in prison, but because of his prior felony convictions, the sentence will be calculated as life without parole.

Assistant District Attorney Ann Harris said police had high-quality security video from some of the businesses, and that the brothers were wearing some of the same distinctive clothing seen on the video at the time of their arrests.

“They went about these armed robberies with a calmness and a matter-of-factness like you and I would approach fixing dinner or washing our clothes,” Harris said. “It’s just a staggering lack of conscience.”

Both brothers had court-appointed attorneys. Derrius Mack was represented by T. Bryan Lumpkin, and Christopher Mack, who uses the alias Shanatal Marshall, was represented by H. Maddox Kilgore.

Derrius Mack had been released from state prison in August 2009 after serving 10 years for armed robbery in Cobb.

Lumpkin, who has a solo practice in Marietta, argued problems with police lineup procedures.

“Our defense centered on the many ways witnesses can be tainted, and we saw testimony change in the courtroom,” he said. “Derrius did have a prior conviction for armed robbery at a very young age, 16, and our mandatory sentencing required him to serve 10 years. Although his involvement in this case is a result of choices, if he had not been required to serve 10 years during those formative years, from age 16 to 26, maybe he would not have come out and been left making the decisions that were made in this case.”

Chris Mack has a record of felony theft dating to at least 2005, and has served at least three stints in state prison. He took the stand in his own defense and claimed responsibility for all of the crimes, but said his brother wasn’t involved.

“He chose to accept responsibility for his role,” said Kilgore, Christopher Mack’s attorney.

As for Christopher Mack’s sentence, Kilgore said he believes it is cruel and unusual punishment.

“His prior convictions were not violent crimes, but lower-level property crimes such as theft and entering an auto,” Kilgore said. “Life without parole ought to be for repeat, violent felons, not low-level property crimes.”

The brothers once attended Osborne High School, Harris said.
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CobbGuy
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October 12, 2012
Exactly my point, JustWait.... that family you describe and hope for everyone was probably non-existent with these two. No discussion of education, no family of hard workers to motivate children and siblings...nothing. Perhaps not even a parent in the house, maybe a grandparent. But others have probably come from worse and succeeded so... it is what it is...we agree it all starts at home, and very young.
Unknown_7
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October 12, 2012
First of all COBBGUY & JustWait I know this family and Derrius and Chris had both parents in the home, both very hard working. So you both couldn't be more wrong on that note. It's a shame that you can come from a good back ground and still have children turn out in this matter. So the family is not to blame in this case but the two who that is there doing the time. You can teach your kids to take to straight and narrow but do they always NO. So thanks for your opinions.
CobbGuy
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October 12, 2012
A sad story for all involved..the convicted, the victims, the families, etc... But crime has a price, apparently a very steep price for twice convicted felons who commit more crimes while on probation. Anyone reading this story should be convinced that the SOONER young people are taught to respect the law the less likely a prison sentence.

These young men have chosen poorly, as they say, and time, not prison, will become their biggest enemy now. A "life with no" sentence can be to many a fate worse than death itself. Only education and motivation keep most of us on the outside of a prison wall...... again, a sad story, hope there is a lesson for someone here as it is apparently much too late for these two.
Just Wait
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October 12, 2012
"Only education and motivation keep most of us on the outside of a prison wall." Oh please. How about being raised right by caring parents. How about being taught right from wrong at an early age. How about parents who care for more than making babies and ignoring the responsibilities that go with them. Children learn from example. You can only imagine the example these two had.
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