A Gaffney man has received a 15-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to a crime spree in August 2009 that lasted only a few hours but one which prosecutors say left a lasting impression on local citizens. Twenty-four-year-old Brandon Martin admitted that he tried to rob the First Piedmont Federal, that he went into the bank flashing a handgun and demanding money. A bank manager thwarted the holdup when he pointed a pistol at the suspect.
Only minutes later, authorities say Martin entered Norma’s Truck Stop with a gun and threatened the clerk. He fled with $385. Authorities captured Martin later in the day.
Murray Glenn is a spokesman for Solicitor Trey Gowdy’s office. Glenn says it’s important to note that the Martin incident occurred just a month after accused serial killer Patrick Burris was accused of five murders in the area before he was shot by police, a story which became the center of national attention last summer. He says the community was seriously on edge concerning any violent crime. Glenn says Martin’s attempt to rob the bank was only stopped because a banker had prepared himself during the Burris murders.
It was revealed that Martin started the day by taking the Mitsubishi that he used as a getaway car without the owner’s consent, and that he had then shoplifted some clothing from Wal-Mart which he used on his crime spree.
Martin’s prior criminal record included convictions for property offenses, drugs and resisting arrest.
Assistant Solicitor Michael Morin prosecuted the case.