Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 7, 2012

Flack gets life in prison

PRINCETON — A Mercer County judge sentenced a Virginia man to life in prison Wednesday with the possibility of parole in connection with the shooting death of a 17-year-old Bluefield teen.

Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn sentenced Brandon Flack, 21, of Pulaski, Va., to life in prison with a recommendation of mercy on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the death of his cousin, 17-year-old Matthew Flack of Bluefield on Jan. 29, 2011. Aboulhosn also sentenced Brandon Flack to between 40 to 45 years on a charge of first-degree robbery and one to five years on a conspiracy charge.

Aboulhosn waived the burglary charge Brandon Flack was convicted of, opting to combine it into the first-degree murder charge during the sentencing hearing. Flack will be eligible for parole in 26 years, according to Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash. Abhouslon gave Flack credit for 495 days already served.

Family members of both the defendant and victim crowded the courtroom at the sentencing hearing. David Flack, the father of Matthew Flack, addressed the court before sentencing.

“First, I just want to talk about role models,” David Flack said. “Matthew was a role model for his sisters and his brother. You chose to hang out with your uncles. You know you are responsible for this. You want your lawyers to come up with any excuse rather than let you tell the truth. You need help. You need to get some addresses and apologize to some people. You had days to change your mind before you did this. The Thursday before, you came to our house and asked me to borrow $5. I gave you $20. I told you we were leaving the house around midnight. I told you that you could ask me for anything, and you came to me and said you needed a weapon. When I asked you why, you said for protection. I told you that if you needed a weapon for protection the best protection was to stop hanging out with people who you need protection from. You have made your bed hard. You have to lie in it.”

According to testimony presented during Brandon Flack’s trial, Ash said Flack and two companions traveled from Pulaski, Va., with plans to rob the Flack home on Magnolia Street in Bluefield. During the robbery, Brandon Flack was shot in the leg while struggling with his cousin. Brandon Flack later told hospital officials at Bluefield Regional Medical Center he had been shot during a drive-by shooting.

During the robbery, Matthew Flack was shot with a 9 mm Hi-Point semi-automatic pistol which was found in the car Brandon Flack and his companions were in during a police search, according to testimony. Brandon Flack was silent during testimony and answered questions directed to him by Aboulhosn with either a “yes sir” or “no sir.” When asked if he would like to address the court, Brandon Flack also spoke.

“I would like to thank the court for its time,” he said. “I want to apologize to everyone in this courtroom at this time.”

Before handing down the sentence, Aboulhosn addressed Brandon Flack directly.

“This is a senseless tragedy and as a result of this tragedy so many lives have been effected,” Aboulhosn said. “We have to send a message through this tragedy. Young people need to know there are consequences to their actions. Matthew Flack was a promising young man who had a future, just like you had a future before making the decisions that resulted in his death.”

The defense filed two motions for a new trial in the case, but both were rejected by Aboulhosn.

Matthew Flack was a Bluefield High School student who planned to attend Marshall University in Huntington and major in psychology.

Jasmen Montgomery, 21, of Pulaski, Va., previously pleaded guilt to first-degree murder with mercy in the shooting death of Matthew Flack. The third man charged in the case, Joseph Flack, Jr., 44, of Bluefield is awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, burglary and conspiracy.

— Contact Kate Coil at

kcoil@bdtonline.com�

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