Man going to trial for 2017 fatal Middletown bar shooting

Defense attorneys and prosecutors said Tuesday both sides are ready for trial this month for a man charged in a fatal shooting outside a Middletown bar nearly 18 months ago.

Malcolm Franklin, 28, formerly of Louisiana, is charged with murder as well as three counts of felonious assault for gun violence in 2017, at D&J Nite spot.

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In August, Franklin’s trial was delayed by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater at the request of the defense team — attorneys Frank Schiavone III and Frank Schiavone IV — after Schiavone IV suffered a health issue.

The defense attorney said then that he had a reaction to a spider bite he received while on vacation and could not prepare for trial.

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The trial was rescheduled until Nov. 26 and will begin that morning with jury selection. It is scheduled for five days.

Franklin allegedly shot Julian Marquis Johnson, 23, outside the Elliott Drive bar during the early morning hours of May 30, 2017. Three others were also injured by gunfire, according to Middletown police.

Middletown police Detective Jon Rawlins testified during a previous hearing that Franklin confessed to killing Johnson.

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Defense attorneys filed motions to suppress statements Franklin made to police without an attorney present and the traffic stop of his client after the shooting because they say there was no probable cause. After a hearing in February, that motion was denied by Pater.

Franklin remains housed in the Butler County Jail on $1 million bond.

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