Former councilman found guilty of killing employee who was found buried under septic tank
04/25/2023 4:28 pm PDT
LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. (TCD) -- A former Guthrie city councilman was found guilty this week of killing an employee in 2021 and burying his body under a septic tank.
According to an affidavit from the Logan County District Court, on Sept. 28, 2021, Brent Mack’s daughter reported her father missing to the Guthrie Police Department. When she reached out by Facebook Messenger to her father’s boss, Daniel Triplett, he reportedly told her he fired Mack, gave him $1,000 severance, and dropped him off in front of a laundromat in the 100 block of West Cleveland on Sept. 20, 2021. Triplett later deleted the conversation, but Mack’s daughter took screenshots and was able to send the messages to investigators.
Triplett’s work clothes were reportedly found in the backyard of a home near 1st and Cleveland in late September 2021, but there was still no sign of him.
According to court documents, Mack’s daughter provided officials with her father’s call log, which showed several outgoing phone calls. The calls reportedly stopped on Sept. 20, 2021, with the last call made to Mack’s girlfriend in Texas.
When officials interviewed Mack’s girlfriend, she allegedly said they spoke on Sept. 20, 2021, and Mack told her he was getting picked up to go to work. Later in the day, he reportedly told her he was on a job site with bad cell reception and texted, "Okay babe I’ll call you later." That was the last she heard from Mack.
According to the affidavit, investigators reviewed surveillance video from the laundromat and saw Triplett’s vehicle, but Triplett did not stop to drop off Mack like he had told his daughter.
Investigators interviewed Triplett over the phone, and court documents alleged Triplett said he "wanted to cut ties with Brent because of his violent demeanor." Triplett reportedly said when he dropped Mack off, he exited his truck and stated he was traveling to Texas to get married.
Triplett also reportedly said Mack was not upset with him after getting fired, and Mack left Triplett’s vehicle with a green army-style duffel bag. Officials noted in the affidavit that Triplett’s statements were inconsistent.
According to court documents, Triplett provided Mack’s job site location details on County Road 69, and investigators obtained security footage from the area. During a review of the footage, authorities reportedly noticed Mack and Triplett together, but they didn’t see any type of physical altercation between the men.
On Oct. 21, 2021, Guthrie Police, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner responded to Mack and Triplett’s worksite on County Road 69 and removed a septic tank where Mack was last seen with Triplett in security footage. Underneath the septic tank, authorities reportedly recovered Mack’s decomposing body. He was still wearing work boots and gloves, and his ID was in his wallet.
That same day, Triplett was arrested on charges of first-degree murder and desecration of a human corpse. Prosecutors argued Triplett fatally shot Mack in the back before burying his body, KOCO-TV reports.
On Tuesday, April 25, a jury found Triplett guilty on all charges after 2 1/2 hours of deliberation.
Triplett is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16 and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Mack’s family was reportedly present during the trial.
According to KOCO, Triplett worked as a businessman and councilman in Guthrie.
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