Saxton murder suspect unexpectedly rejects plea deal

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

The suspect in the murder of Yazoo business owner Ricky Saxton unexpectedly rejected a plea deal in court Friday morning.

Johnny Mack Brown was scheduled to accept a plea deal where he would plead guilty to second-degree murder with a sentencing recommendation of 26 years to serve. Brown changed his mind shortly before he was expected to enter his plea in a Warren County courtroom after speaking briefly with his mother.

The murder trial will now begin Monday in Warren County. The trial was moved to Warren County after Circuit Court Judge Jannie Lewis-Blackmon granted a change of venue request by the defense team due to the publicity of the case.

Brown turned himself in to local authorities in June of 2015 and was charged with Saxton’s murder.

Saxton was murdered on Nov. 13, 2013. Sheriff Jake Sheriff said that investigators believe Saxton drove his tow truck to a remote area near Benton after receiving a call from someone who claimed to be interested in selling a car. He was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Members of the Saxton family expressed disappointment Friday that Brown did not accept the plea offer.

Judge Isadore Patrick said that Brown can still enter a plea on Monday, but he will not be accepting sentencing recommendations.

The Yazoo Herald will be covering the trial and will have updated information as it becomes available.