Man found guilty of capital murder in ex-wife’s death, jury recommends death penalty
A Vernon man accused of killing his ex-wife in 2015 was found guilty by a jury, 24th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Andy Hamlin announced Wednesday.
Brandon Sykes, 40, was found guilty Tuesday of three counts of capital murder in the death of Keisha Sykes, a 29-year-old mother of three. After a brief deliberation period Wednesday, the jury recommended he be sentenced to death.
The trial in Lamar County Circuit Court lasted three weeks, with the jury reaching a decision Tuesday, finding Sykes guilty of murder during the commission of a burglary, kidnapping and robbery.
“I appreciate the jury’s careful deliberation,” Hamlin said. “This was a challenging case in that Ms. Sykes’ body has never been found. But the evidence very clearly shows the defendant committed this murder, and went to great lengths to cover it up.”
Sykes was arrested on grand jury indictments three months after Turner disappeared from her Vernon home in February 2015. Her vehicle was found several days later, burned and abandoned in the New Hope, Mississippi area. Investigators discovered Keisha Sykes’ blood in her home and in the bed of the defendant’s truck, in addition to cell phone records and data proving his guilt.
“This verdict and sentence signifies justice for Keisha and her family. My hope is that it helps them find some measure of closure,” Hamlin said. “They have waited a very long time for this.”
The case was investigated by Vernon Police Department, the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation.
“The different departments worked together and did an excellent job of piecing the evidence together. My hat is off to them for all of the hard work and efforts,” Hamlin said.
The case was tried by Hamlin and Alabama Assistant Attorneys General Kenneth Gibbs and Katie Langer.
“I’m so thankful for Kenny and Katie and the members of the Attorney General’s Office. They have worked tirelessly on this case. This was a complete team effort. Justice was served,” Hamlin said.