SC Fugitive Vowed Not to be Taken Alive


Brandon Wayne Arnold

A South Carolina man who vowed not to be taken alive, is back in custody with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms – that after a massive manhunt Tuesday night in Hart County.

Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said his office received notice from the ATF’s Macon office that Brandon Wayne Arnold, 29, of 230 Mema Lane, Seneca Heather Elaine Frankum, 25, of 204 Webb St., Seneca, may be in the area.

 “We got a call from the ATF and gave us a heads up on what kind of vehicle they were in and why they might be in the area,” Cleveland said. “They also said they had search warrants and were conducting searches in the area.”

Cleveland said it was first thought the pair might be in Stephens County, but they later learned the pair was trying to get to a house owned by Frankum’s family in Hart County.

According to Cleveland, Arnold is wanted by the ATF for the illegal sale and trafficking of firearms.  Multiple local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies descended on Hart County late Tuesday afternoon in a search for the fugitive couple that lasted well into the night.

Cleveland said at one point, the couple ditched the white van they were driving and tried to run.

“We got a tip from somebody on Doyle Road that their van was seen in the area and that they had gotten out and were on foot,” Cleveland said.

That’s when he said he and another deputy received information from witnesses that the pair had run into some cow pastures.

 “They had spotted one of our cars and bailed out of their van,” he said. “It was just one cattle gate after another. We got about a half mile when we could see the cows all looking in the same direction. The cows could see them where we could not because there was a wood line there.”

Once he realized where they might be hiding, Cleveland called in the Georgia State Patrol’s helicopter, with a heat-seeking device, for help.

“The screen on the heat seeking device shows the outline of the person. He was lying down in a ravine and she was hiding in an old deer stand,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland said Arnold had vowed he would not go back to prison and would not be taken alive.  Arnold was armed with two fully loaded semi-automatic guns, but did not use them and was taken without incident.

The ATF picked Arnold up from the Hart County jail Wednesday.  So far, they have not released the exact charges against Arnold.

Frankum, meantime, is charged in Hart County with obstruction of law enforcement.