SAVANNAH, GA (May 20, 2013): A Crimestoppers tip and the tenacity of teams of detectives led to the arrest last week of suspects in two Savannah homicides.

Brandon Mackey, 26, was taken into custody last Thursday in Watauga, TX, by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police detectives and Fort Worth police and charged with the murder of Wesley Franklin. Franklin, 21, was shot to death June 2 at 2 a.m. by a gunman who fired at the wall of Deb’s Pub and Grub. Franklin was standing at the bar inside, unaware of the robbery outside.

Darrell Hendrix, 19, was charged with the April 25 murder of Rodrick Richardson, 38, who was driving to his job at Durst Baking Co. about midnight April 25. The investigation indicates Hendrix approached Richardson at an intersection and eventually shot him.

In the Franklin investigation, relentless police work aided by a Crimestoppers tip helped detectives pull together the facts they already had in the investigations. Investigators had researched dozens of tips, eliminating as many suspects and honing in on the actual facts of the case. The information from the tipster helped point the investigation to the suspect.

“Someone knows something in virtually every case we investigate,” said Police Chief Willie Lovett. “This is the kind of cooperation we need to keep this community safe. The information this tipsters provided helped us put information our detectives already had accumulated in perspective to lead to the arrests.

“The cases are similar because in each, the victim was doing nothing to lead to his death,” Lovett said. “Any of us could have been a victim in either of these cases.”

Friends and business acquaintances of Franklin’s family had contributed $10,220 to increase the usual $2,500 Crimestoppers reward fund in the case to $12,720. All Crimestoppers communication is guaranteed confidential.

Crimestoppers is independent of any law enforcement agency. Some 80 percent of the reward money is never collected by tipsters.
The Crimestoppers board of directors will determine the value of the information and how much will be transferred to the tipster that led to the arrest. Those actions are independent of SCMPD and will not be determined until after the case is adjudicated.

An area businessman announced independently of Crimestoppers and SCMPD that he had additional funding to increase reward money in the Franklin investigation.

The process has begun by the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office to extradite each suspect back to Savannah. Details of such processes are rarely discussed ahead of time.

SCMPD detectives continue to investigate both cases.