Franklin Takes Stand in Own Defense - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/13/04

Franklin Takes Stand in Own Defense

Franklin in 1990. Franklin in 1990.
Franklin today. Franklin today.

Christopher Franklin killed his father and stepmother when he was just 15 years old. The court convicted him and gave him life. But now he's getting another chance. A judge granted Franklin a new trial because he claimed his lawyer didn't tell him he could testify in the first trial.

Now 29, Franklin is back on trial for shooting and killing his father, 39-year-old Ronnie Lee Franklin and his 38-year-old stepmother Vicky Franklin at their Bluffton home in 1990. Today, Franklin took the stand for the first time since the murders and told the jury it all happened after he and his stepmother got into a fight.

The family was just about to sit down for dinner when Christopher says he got his father's shot gun and headed to the bathroom to kill himself. But he couldn't do it and decided to put the gun back when he saw his father.

"I opened the door, my dad stopped in front of the door and said, 'What in the hell is going on?'" he testified. "He pulled the gun to take it from me. I don't know, and the gun went off, hit him in his side and threw him against the wall."

Christopher says he shot his father a second time to end the pain. Then headed to the kitchen to kill Vicky. "I just remember I turned, fired the gun," he said. "I don't even remember cocking it. She fell down."

The state says Christopher then hit Vicky with the gun at least ten times. Although Christopher claims Vicky physically abused him, he says he didn't kill his father and stepmother intentionally.

However, the state solicitor Randolph Murdaugh argued otherwise. "He meant to do it and then had the audacity to come into this courtroom and tell you, 'I love my daddy. I love my step-momma."

As of early evening, the jury was still deliberating the fate of Christopher Franklin.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly