GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – A former Guthrie City Councilman testified in his own first-degree murder trial.
Dan Triplett is accused of shooting his employee, Brent Mack, in the back and burying him under a septic tank in Logan County.
Mack’s decaying body was found October 21, 2021. The medical examiner said he had been shot in the back, had fractured ribs and a perforated lung.
Thursday, Triplett himself took the stand claiming self defense. Triplett said, “I’m not guilty of murder. I’m guilty of self defense. And I’m guilty of burying the body.”
Triplett told prosecutors he did not want to investigators because it would have hurt his reputation, he was embarrassed. He said, “I freaked out” and “It was my bad.”
Triplett said security video shows Mack jumped down into a septic tank hold on September 20th. During opening arguments, prosecutors said Mack fell into the hole after being shot.
Triplett said Mack was arguing with Triplett and complained he wanted to leave for the day. Triplett told Mack this was his last day on the job.
Triplett said this made Mack angry. Triplett said Mack, while still wearing thick work gloves, pulled out a snub-nosed revolver and aimed it at Triplett. Triplett said his “fight-or-flight” responses kicked in and immediately slapped the gun out of Mack’s hand. After a brief scuffle, Triplett said he got the gun. Triplett then hit Mack so hard, he spun Mack around and shot him in the back.
Triplett said he then checked for a pulse, saw that his eyes had “greyed over” and knew he was dead. If he had a pulse, he would have called an ambulance.
Prosecutors asked Triplett what “greyed-over” eyes meant. Triplett said that means when the eyes lose their color.
Prosecutors pointed out that Mack is younger and stronger than Triplett. Triplett said he was powered by adrenaline.
“There’s two people that enter this construction site and only one man left. Where’s the other man? Well, on that site, he was determined to be nine feet deep,” said Troy Franklin-Smith, Mack’s brother.
Prosecutors also questioned Triplett why Mack would pull a gun on his boss over fear of losing an $11/hour job.
Mack’s family shook their heads, rolled their eyes, and laughed in disbelief at Triplett’s testimony.
“Regardless of how he portrayed or the community portray Brent, he still was a human being. And for you to discard him like he’s an animal, that is not nice,” said Rochelle Jordan, Mack’s Cousin.
Prosecutors also brought up Triplett having nude photos of a woman on his phone and that he was not faithful to his wife. They asked Triplett if Mack accused him of having girlfriends. Triplett said he did not have girlfriends and did not answer Mack.
Jury deliberations begin on Tuesday.