Bert Franklin’s trial was set to begin for the July 2016 death of 19-month-old Lincoln Von Henry Lewis, who prosecutors say the dentist killed inside his mom’s Oklahoma City home.
As reported by The Oklahoman, footage shown in court during a Sept 2016 bond hearing for Bert Franklin, showed the Tulsa dentist allegedly abusing Lincoln Lewis.
As the defense raised questions about the video because the critical moments took place off camera, the prosecutor informed the court that a three-hour gap of surveillance video around the time of this incident had been deleted, and had to be recovered.
Lincoln died from his injuries at a Tulsa hospital on July 18, 2016.
After the facts of the new allegations emerged in the last two months, the initial trial date had been pushed back by District Judge Cindy Truong, because prosecutors tacked on a conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charge.
19-month-old Lincoln Von Henry Lewis was beaten to death by Franklin, his mother’s boyfriend
Prosecutors said Franklin, 36, convinced his wife to bring in $300 so he could fund the assassination of Lincoln’s mother, Roxanne Lewis Randall.
The plan fell though because the fellow jail inmates he enlisted to help were confidential informants already working with law enforcement in unrelated cases, investigators reported.
Franklin who has been married since 2003 was living in Tulsa with his wife and four daughters, at the time. He reportedly was having an affair with the victim’s mother, Roxanne Lewis Randall.
In jail since his July 2016 arrest, Franklin’s murder-for-hire plot which began in August was in the works as recent as Sunday, prosecutors charged in an affidavit cited by the Oklahoman.
Bert Franklin who is on trial for the death of Lincoln last summer was sold out by the jail house snitches he hired kill the toddler’s mom, a key witness against him
The inmate was an informant for a separate case for an investigator for Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office. The two men chatted about bringing in another man formerly in jail, who turned out to be another informant, to potentially execute the contract.
Authorities gave the inmate a cellphone capable of recording “to provide Franklin with a tool should he choose to act on his predisposition and move forward in his plans,” the affidavit continued.
Last Thursday, the suspect sent a text to his wife through the county jail’s messaging system, telling her how distressed he was. Franklin asked her to deposit $300 into the bank account of another inmate, which prosecutors said was “compensation for the murder if and when Franklin decided to act.”
He later called the wife, with the contraband phone to vent how his lawyers had a weak case.
Bert Franklin a Tulsa, Oklahoma dentist is on trial in Oklahoma County facing first-degree murder and murder by child beating. The charges have just been expanded to include attempted first-degree murder of his victim’s mother
The next day he called the informant outside of jail with “step-by-step driving instructions” to find the home of Randall, the key witness in his case.
He gave out the where security cameras were in the home on Sunday, the affidavit claimed, as well as tips for handling Randall’s dog.
Those same surveillance cameras captured what prosecutors said was Franklin kicking and dropping Lincoln. It showed him walking around with the limp toddler in his arms. But his defense had argued he was actually trying to deal with Randall’s dog.
He also told the man, his former jail mate, to find Randall on Facebook to see what she looked like.
“Mr. Franklin swears up and down he didn’t have anything to do with it,” his attorney, Scott Adams, said, according to the Oklahoman. “He didn’t want anything bad to happen to Ms. Randall.”
Franklin has denied killing Lincoln, and last week turned down a deal that carried a 30-year sentence. ‘The only reason he directed his wife to put the $300 in the account was because Franklin was afraid for his life behind bars’, Adams said.
Prosecutors who have accused Franklin of repeatedly manipulating his family for more than a year that he’s been incarcerated, do not believe his wife was part of the plot.
“Franklin was manipulating his wife throughout his incarceration at the county jail,” the investigator wrote.
“Franklin has developed a pattern of getting her to put money on other inmates’ accounts in the county jail under the guise of spiritually related reasons, when in fact those moneys were used by Franklin for other purposes in the jail.”