“My father chose to see the best in people, even people like you.”
Those were the words of Stacey Milner to her father’s killer as he was sentenced Thursday afternoon.
Johnny Mack Brown pleaded guilty to a number of charges related to the murder of Ricky Saxton in a Warren County Court Thursday afternoon.
Brown entered a plea of guilty to second degree murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and conspiracy.
A Warren County judge sentenced Brown to a total of 41 years to serve in a state correctional facility.
Tears were shed by the Saxton family as Milner, the daughter of Ricky Saxton, addressed Brown following his plea deal.
"My father enjoyed life, and he enjoyed every moment of his 56 years,” Milner said. “You do not get to rob him of anything else. The unconditional love he showed us is priceless. God never left my Daddy's side that day you left him alone in the grass."
Thursday’s plea brings some closure to the Saxton family after more than five years.
Saxton was murdered on Nov. 13, 2013. Brown turned himself into local authorities in June of 2015 for the murder charge.
Yazoo County Circuit Judge Jannie Lewis granted a change of venue for the trial after the defense team said Brown would not receive a fair trial in Yazoo County after extensive media coverage of the case.
Investigators said 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. Saxton was found dead near his truck from a gunshot wound to the head.
The prosecution was prepared to show evidence that included Brown’s wife’s confession that she called Saxton claiming to have a car for sale in order to lure him to the scene of the robbery.
In December of 2018, the court had heard three days of testimony before the defense for defendant Brown successfully argued that it had not been provided with some of the evidence from the investigation leading to him being charged with Saxton’s murder.