A former city councilman from Guthrie, Oklahoma, has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a Black co-worker and burying him under a septic tank. Daniel Triplett was found guilty of first-degree murder and received an additional seven years for the desecration of a corpse.
According to KOKH Fox 25, during the investigation into the murder, authorities determined Triplett fired the victim, Brent Mack, on September 20, 2021, and gave him a $1,000 severance. Triplett told investigators after he let him go, he took Mack to a neighborhood laundromat. Surveillance footage showed Triplett’s truck outside the laundromat on the day in question, but he never dropped off Mack.
After authorities obtained a search warrant for Triplett’s home and vehicle, they discovered a logbook of his and Mack’s prior job locations. One record showed Triplett had installed a septic system in the Mulhall area on September 20, 2021 — the same day Mack was reported missing.
Footage from neighbors showed Mack and Triplett arriving at the worksite, but only one person left.
Investigators dug up the septic tank a month after Mack was reported missing. Anthropologists used a probe to find Mack’s body underneath the septic tank. Once the body was exhumed, investigators found a wallet that contained Mack’s ID. According to Atlanta Black Star, the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy report found Mack died from a gunshot wound to the upper back.
Triplett was released from police custody on a $500,000 bond in December 2021. His bond was revoked a month later, in January 2022.
Earlier this year, Triplett was found guilty of first-degree murder and desecration of a human corpse, KOKH Fox 25 reported. During the trial, he claimed he acted in self-defense. Logan County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas said Triplett was gearing up to file an appeal as he believes he didn’t receive a fair trial.