Derrius Lamonte Mack, 30, and Christopher Antonio Mack, 28, were convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, false imprisonment, entering auto, and hijacking a vehicle. The attacks spanned from Oct. 23, 2009, to Nov. 4, 2009, at five businesses in Marietta, Austell and Vinings, including a Subway restaurant, two storage companies, and the Kim’s Cleaners on East Piedmont Road in east Cobb.
Both brothers were on probation for previous felony convictions at the time of the crimes. They were found not guilty of one armed robbery charged in the indictment.
Twelve people were victimized in the attacks, including at least five who were taken into back rooms of the businesses and hog-tied face down with electrical cords.
The 12-person jury returned its verdict late Wednesday after seven hours of deliberation that capped a three-week trial before Cobb Superior Court Judge Robert E. Flournoy III.
The brothers were sentenced Thursday morning to life in prison. Derrius Mack got life without parole under Georgia’s two-strikes law. Christopher Mack was sentenced to life in prison, but because of his prior felony convictions, the sentence will be calculated as life without parole.
Assistant District Attorney Ann Harris said police had high-quality security video from some of the businesses, and that the brothers were wearing some of the same distinctive clothing seen on the video at the time of their arrests.
“They went about these armed robberies with a calmness and a matter-of-factness like you and I would approach fixing dinner or washing our clothes,” Harris said. “It’s just a staggering lack of conscience.”
Both brothers had court-appointed attorneys. Derrius Mack was represented by T. Bryan Lumpkin, and Christopher Mack, who uses the alias Shanatal Marshall, was represented by H. Maddox Kilgore.
Derrius Mack had been released from state prison in August 2009 after serving 10 years for armed robbery in Cobb.
Lumpkin, who has a solo practice in Marietta, argued problems with police lineup procedures.
“Our defense centered on the many ways witnesses can be tainted, and we saw testimony change in the courtroom,” he said. “Derrius did have a prior conviction for armed robbery at a very young age, 16, and our mandatory sentencing required him to serve 10 years. Although his involvement in this case is a result of choices, if he had not been required to serve 10 years during those formative years, from age 16 to 26, maybe he would not have come out and been left making the decisions that were made in this case.”
Chris Mack has a record of felony theft dating to at least 2005, and has served at least three stints in state prison. He took the stand in his own defense and claimed responsibility for all of the crimes, but said his brother wasn’t involved.
“He chose to accept responsibility for his role,” said Kilgore, Christopher Mack’s attorney.
As for Christopher Mack’s sentence, Kilgore said he believes it is cruel and unusual punishment.
“His prior convictions were not violent crimes, but lower-level property crimes such as theft and entering an auto,” Kilgore said. “Life without parole ought to be for repeat, violent felons, not low-level property crimes.”
The brothers once attended Osborne High School, Harris said.