Local man guilty
Published 6:24 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2006
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
A Brewton native convicted of murder in a 2004 drunk driving incident in Baldwin County will be sentenced next month.
Marvin Marion Franklin, 57, was convicted April 13 in a Bay Minette courthouse in connection with a drunken driving incident Oct. 14, 2004, that killed a South Carolina minister.
According to an official with the corrections center, Franklin's bond was set at $15,000. He failed to make his bond and is being held until his sentencing, which could be anywhere from 15 years to life.
Baldwin County Assistant District Attorney Matt Green said Tuesday that Franklin's actions were “reckless.” Franklin was also convicted of driving under the influence and driving the wrong way.
Green said Franklin apparently didn't even realize what had happened when the incident occured.
At the time of the arrest in Baldwin County, Franklin tested positive to marijuana and his blood concentration was three times the legal limit of .08.
In addition, witnesses on the scene said a pornographic DVD was playing in Franklin's vehicle at the time of the wreck, Green said.
According to Green, Franklin did not testify in the trial, but his daughter defended his actions by saying his blood test results were because of diabetes.
Neither District Attorney Judy Newcomb nor defense attorney Bill Scully was available for comment Tuesday.
According to a report in the April 14 issue of the Press-Register, Scully said he thought the murder charge was excessive.
He admitted his client was in the wrong but said he should have been charged with a lesser offense.
The wreck instantly killed James Broussard, 42 of Piedmont, S.C.
Franklin's Chevrolet Camaro was headed southbound in the northbound lane of I-65 when it collided with Broussard's Kia sedan.
The wreck occurred near the 45-mile exit near Perdido.
According to court records, Franklin is a convicted sex offender.
Published reports indicate he was convicted in Jefferson County on charges of possession of obscene material and second-degree sexual abuse.