Final suspect in Saxton murder pleads guilty, will serve 20 years

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

The final chapter of the Ricky Saxton murder case came to a close this week with the second and final suspect pleading guilty to the brutal crime.

Shontina Brown, wife of Saxton’s convicted murderer Johnny Mack Brown, pleaded guilty to second degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy.

Shontina Brown took the plea deal inside a Holmes County courtroom Thursday morning. Family members of the slain Ricky Saxton said it was the first time they had ever seen Shontina Brown show any emotion.

Shontina Brown was sentenced to 30 years, with 20 years to serve, for second degree murder; 15 years for armed robbery; and 5 years for conspiracy. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Shontina Brown’s husband, Johnny Mack Brown, pleaded guilty earlier this year to the killing and robbing of Ricky Saxton in the Nov. 13, 2013 slaying.

Johnny Mack Brown admitted in open court this past summer that he purchased a Tracphone and he, along with Shontina Brown, lured Saxton on a rural Yazoo County road under the pretext that they wanted to sell him a car.

After murdering Saxton, Johnny Mack Brown took $600 from him before he and Shontina Brown left the murder scene.

Johnny Mack Brown was sentenced to 41 years in a state correctional facility on second degree murder, armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Stacey Milner, the daughter of Ricky Saxton, made a public statement to Shontina Brown during Thursday’s sentencing.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Daddy would have never showed up that day for Johnny Brown,” Milner said, to Shontina Brown. “Daddy knew he was bad news. So, it's heartbreaking to know because of the role you played on Nov 13, 2013, we lost the most amazing husband, Daddy, Pop and friend we have ever had. You didn't just rob him of his life and the money in his pocket, you robbed us of more time, more memories, and more laughter with the most incredible man in our lives.”

“Over the last five years, when I saw you, I saw a thug,” Milner continued. “I saw a girl who didn't value life. I saw a hopeless cause. But I knew that wasn't right. So, I began to ask God to help me see you through His eyes. When I saw a thug, God saw a princess. Shontina, you’re a daughter of the King like me. He is crazy about you, and He wants a relationship with you. Your eternity will not be determined by the choices you have made; but it will be determined by the choice you make.”

Milner then gave Shontina Brown a Bible.

“I'm willing to help you navigate Gods plans,” Milner said. “I'm willing to help you understand it, and I believe with God’s help I can love you and encourage you along the way. But it’s up to you.”