Ridgeland man sentenced to 45 years after shooting

Brett Howard

A 23-year-old Ridgeland man was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Wednesday for the 2009 slaying of a man at a Jasper County nightclub.

At the conclusion of a three-day trial, jurors convicted Brett Howard of murder and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime for the December 11, 2009 shooting of 54-year-old Woodrow Brantley at Missy's Place, 149 Grove Park Lane, near Ridgeland.

It took less than 30 minutes for the jury to render its verdict.

According to witnesses, Brantley was shooting pool with a friend at the club, when Howard misunderstood the conversation and pulled out a pistol. He attempted to fire the gun several times while walking toward Brantley and the gun finally went off, striking Brantley in the face.

The married father died at the scene.

Multiple witnesses identified Howard as the shooter. He turned himself in the following day.

"I am pleased that Brett Howard received 45 years in prison," said Deputy Solicitor Sean Thornton, who prosecuted the case. "He deserves every day of that sentence. This was a completely senseless, cold-blooded killing. A man's life was taken just because of something Howard thought he heard, and for that, two families will never be the same."

Judge Perry M. Buckner handed down the sentence. 

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