Florist shop kidnapper gets life without possibility of parole

Date: 3/21/2008
By Nadine Parks
The Post and Courier
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tommy Mack will never have the opportunity to hurt another woman, that's what the jury verdict Thursday tried to guarantee.

Mack, 46, a repeat offender, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the case of kidnapping victim Beth Ferguson. The 41-year-old Goose Creek resident was viciously attacked April 10, 2007, when she stopped at Carolina Florist on Ashley Phosphate Road to buy her son a corsage for his prom.

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Mack was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill. His violent criminal history of attacking, kidnapping and raping women caused Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson to file a life without parole notice before the trial this week, Wilson said. The notice made the sentence mandatory.

Mack previously was convicted of kidnapping a woman from North Charleston in 1994 and raping her. He also was convicted of attacking women in 1979 and 1984.

"There's no rehabilitation for him," Wilson said. "He will die in prison."

Witnesses testified that Mack worked at the flower shop and lived on the second floor. Carolina Florist owner Deborah Mack told The Post and Courier on Thursday that Tommy Mack is her ex-husband and that they were co-owners of the business last April.

Ferguson identified Tommy Mack as her assailant, and testimony showed that he was at the shop by himself shortly before Ferguson arrived. His fingerprints were on a cold bottle of beer, just feet from where Ferguson was bound, gagged and locked in a closet on the second floor, police testified. Ferguson freed herself while Tommy Mack was gone and broke through a front window of the shop to freedom. She was badly beaten, and her shirt was cut from her body.

After the trial, Ferguson said she feels a sense of closure. She spent months in counseling after the ordeal.

"It has changed my whole life and how I do things," she said.

Ferguson took weapons classes and armed herself with a gun. She said she tries never to be alone, especially when she goes shopping.

Forgiveness? She said she has tried to give that many times and quickly taken it back. Spiritual healing is still a process, she said.

Ferguson has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the Macks.

Reach Nadine Parks at 937-5573 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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