Death Row for Franklin, jury decides

Last words now rests with judge

Other Death Row inmates from Montgomery County cases

* On Dec. 10, 1993, Marvallous Matthew Keene, 20, was sentenced to death five times for his role in the 1992 Christmas killings that left six dead and one injured over a 60-hour period.

* On Sept. 1, 1989, Davel V. `Tony' Chinn, 31, was sentenced to death after he and co-defendant Marvin Washington, 15, abducted Brian K. Jones in his car from a downtown Dayton parking lot Jan. 30, 1989, and drove to Jefferson Twp., where Chinn shot Jones in the shoulder. The bullet traveled through Jones' chest, piercing a major artery. Washington admitted responsibility in juvenile court. Less than three years later, Washington was a murder victim himself, one of the 1992 Christmas killings for which Marvallous Matthew Keene was sentenced to death.

* On April 29, 1986, Samuel Moreland , 32, was sentenced to death by a three-judge panel after it convicted him of five capital charges in the Nov. 1, 1985, slayings of Glenna Green, 46; her daughter, Lana Green, 23; and three grandchildren: Daytrin Talbott, 7, Datwan Talbott, 6, and Voliana Green, 6. At the time, Moreland was convicted of killing more people than anyone who had been placed on Death Row before him.

Judge James J. Gilvary will decide Thursday afternoon whether Antonio Sanchez Franklin should live or die for killing his uncle and grandparents.

After less than three hours of deliberation over two days, a jury recommended Tuesday that Franklin, 19, should get the death penalty.

As Gilvary quickly read the three death verdicts - one for each of those who died - Franklin gazed quietly, straight up at the ceiling. He said nothing afterwards and displayed no emotion.

If Gilvary follows the jury's recommendation, Franklin, who was 18 when the killings took place, would be the youngest person sent to Death Row by a Montgomery County judge.

In the early hours of April 18, 1997, Anthony Franklin, 38, Ivory Franklin, 76, and Ophelia Franklin, 71, were each bludgeoned with a baseball bat. Mrs. Franklin was also shot once in the head. Valuables were taken from the grandparents and their home at 39 Riegel St. was set on fire.

Gilvary can ignore the jury's recommendation and sentence Franklin to life in prison. But he must find that factors such as his youth and upbringing outweighed the circumstances of the slayings. If Gilvary orders execution, he must send his reasons, in writing, to the clerk of the Ohio Supreme Court within 15 days, making his judgement final.

David Franceschelli, assistant county prosecutor, praised the jury and suggested that a member of Franklin's family will probably make a statement at Thursday's hearing.

`It was a good jury,' Franceschelli said. `They were attentive and they followed the evidence in this case.'

About half the jurors took a break outside the courthouse shortly after their decision was announced, but they declined comment through one of Gilvary's assistants. Franklin's mother, Jackie Franklin, and other relatives also declined comment.

Dayton Detective Larry Davis, the lead homicide investigator on the case, said the jury made the right decision `because of the magnitude of what he's done and what he's done to his family.'

Although Davis has worked on the case from the beginning and knew of Franklin's relatives from his high school days, he said, `The most difficult part was trying to come up with a theory of what happened and why it happened.

`It's senseless. He had no reason to do it. He wasn't being violated in any way,' Davis said.

Lawrence Henke III, Franklin's lead defense attorney, said Franklin would have an opportunity to make a statement before sentencing. Franklin, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, did not testify at his trial or give a statement during the portion of the trial that preceeded the jury's death-penalty recommendation.

`It's hard to think that 12 people want to execute him,' Henke said. `It's a tough decision for anyone to make. I know they must have thought about it long and hard.

`I know the things he did were terrible, but they don't have my view,' Henke said.

If he receives a death sentence, Franklin would join Marvallous Matthew Keene, Davel V. `Tony' Chinn and Samuel Moreland on Death Row.

Ohio, which last put an inmate to death in 1963, restored its death penalty in 1981. There are 187 men and no women on Death Row, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections said Tuesday.

* CONTACT Rob Modic at 225-2282 or e-mail him at

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