On October 15, 1992, the day of the murder of Mrs. Edna Mae Franklin, I woke up at my grandmother’s house on Cedar Hill Lane. I ate breakfast and had a shower and then walked down the street to a little corner store at the corner of Cedar Hill Lane and Bentley. I bought myself a 40. oz. of the Bull and then headed on down Bentley towards Little York drinking my beer. I crossed over little York and walked all the way down Bentley until I came to Jensen Drive. I turned right on Jensen and headed towards my little brother Roberts’s house. I then came to a side street called Topping Street, I took a left on Topping Street until I came to the first Street I came upon which was Epsom Rd. I turned right on Epsom until I came to Sparks Street, I turned left on Sparks to get to my brothers’ house, and my brother lived on Sparks.
I then went to Roberts’ but he wasn’t home yet, he was still in school. So I went next door to an old childhood friend named Anthony. I talked with Anthony a little while and we had a few more beers until my brother came home.
When he arrived home my brother and I talked for a little while he told me he was going to go visit his girlfriend Connie whom lived in Bellaire TX, but first I had him give me a ride on his bicycle to an old friend of mines’ house, name James Parks (Aka Crawldad).
To get to Crawldad’s we went down Sparks to a side road called Herden Rd, took it all the way to Tidwell, we turned left on Tidwell until we hit Weedy Lane, took a right on Weedy and rode it all the way to Laura Koppe Rd and then turned left on Laura Koppe going under and past Hwy 59 to the first street we came to and took a left on Dodson Rd. Took it until we hit the first side street which was Simmons Rd., taking a right on Simmons which leads to a dead end. Once on Simmons we went to the very last house on the left, right next to the dead end, I went up to the door and knocked on the door, some Spanish chick answered the door she informed me that Crawldad and his family didn’t live there anymore, but instead lived across the street. So my brother and I went across the street and I knocked on the door and Crawldad’s mom comes to the door, her name is Shirley Gunn.
Before the murder of Mrs. Franklin, I did not know her name was Gunn. I was under the impression that it was Parks just as her son’s name. Anyway, she informed me that he wasn’t home and didn’t know when he would be home. I sat and visited with her a little while, whom I hadn’t seen in years. I hadn’t seen Crawldad in 4 years either. I think I may have seen Crawldad 3 times within 4 years, but that was like years before the murder of Mrs. Franklin.
My little brother informed me that they had to leave so he could make it in time to catch the bus to see his girl. So he had already left. I stayed and talk to Shirley until about 5 pm, and then decided to walk to the store at the corner of Laura Koppe and Hwy 59 and buy myself another beer. I then went to Dodson Park which is about a hundred yards from Crawldad’s house. I drank my beer and then went back to Shirley. Crawldad Still wasn’t home so I sat and talked to Shirley a bit more, she informed me that it was time for her to go in as her show was fixing to start, the Roseanne Bar Show. This was at 6: pm (see Shirley Gunn’s transcript at XXVII A 296-7).
I told her to tell Crawldad I had come by and would stop by again one day. I then walked back to the same store and bought myself another beer. I then headed back under Highway 59 underpass and took a left down 59 towards Crosstimbers. I came to Crosstimbers and took a right, walked down Crosstimbers on the side walk past Jensen Dr., I am on the right side on Crosstimber, so I then cross over to this little corner store at the corner of Crosstimbers and Schneider Street. It is between Jensen Dr. and Hardy Toll Rd. I went in and bought myself another beer, by now I had to relieve myself pretty bad. So I went behind the store to take a leak. once I was done I sat next to this older black dude, he was maybe in his 40’s. I sat on an old plastic milk crate and talked to this guy as I am smoking a cigarette, he asks me if I wanted to by this little blue pill. Said it was a valium for 2 dollars, I did. After that I left and start walking down Crosstimbers towards Hardy toll Rd. I took one of the pills. I was headed to my daughter’s grandma’s house Barbara Anne Wright, to inquire about my strong wishes to visit my daughter, whom I hadn’t seen in over 2.5 years.
Barbara and her son Blaine Earl Wright Jr. (Aka Dusty) were getting in their car as I was walking up the drive way towards them. We spoke only briefly because Barbara’s husband had told me two weeks earlier he didn’t want me around there. I didn’t want to be there, I just wanted Barbara to relay a message to my ex that I wanted to see my kid. So we are feeling the tension. Barbara Stated that she would talk to Kari Anne Wright, my daughter’s mom, and give her my message and tell her I wanted to visit my kid.
Barbara and Dusty were leaving to go to the hospital off Park Rd and I-45 to see her oldest daughter Cynthia Wright. So they were in a bit of a rush. I then cut through the back of their house to a wooded area that leads to a dead end street called Caperton St. and route to Irvington Blvd. From there as I am walking IB can now see that Barbara and Dusty at the corner of Irvington and Caperton I could see they had just bought some flowers from the flower shop. They were getting back in the car. This was the last time I saw either of them or they me until my trial. I then took a left on Irvington and continued down Irvington past Westford to the house I was staying at on Reid St. Which was the only way to get there from Crosstimbers… This is the very house I was arrested at.
So when Barbara and Dusty testified at my trial that they witnessed me heading towards Westford, which is the street Mrs. Franklin lived on and the murder took place, they were correct. But what neither one of them realized was I lived on Reid Street. So therefore I had to pass Westford to get to the very house I lived at. Which is less than a mile from Mrs. Franklin’s house. But from house to house I think it is something like 0.9 mile, a 3-minute drive and a 17-18 minute walk as an average person walks 2 miles an hour. Mrs. Franklin’s address was 617 Westford and mine was 706 Reid St. (see map) veryone seems to lose sight of this little fact. Making it seems as if I was in her neighborhood up to no good and had no business there. But the truth of the matter is I did in fact live there in that very neighborhood. One of the grandsons Lee Edward Rose told the cops just where I lived on Ried St. I stayed there with my mom’s boyfriend David Reed (See Lees Statement in Police Report at 1024)
I went to the house on Reid St. where I used the restroom and then took another little blue pill I had bought from that dude at the Store. I then smoked half a joint I had stashed in my belongings and went to the bedroom and got some money, the last of my paycheck from a job I had at Westfield Sandblasting Co. It wasn’t very much, about 10 dollars or so, I retrieved it from my bag where I had my belongings and then went into the kitchen and got a beer I had there in the ice box. I then drank some water and took off walking down Reid Street drinking my beer. I’m now heading down Reid St. towards Helmers St. and took a right on Helmers. There is this little corner store on Helmers I went into and bought myself yet another beer and a pack of smokes. This store is somewhere between King St. and Westford. I then leave the store and walk down Helmers toward Westford. I was headed to Lee Rose house, also Mrs. Franklins, she is Lees grandmother. Lee and Eric lived with her on Westford. So I was headed to her house. Once there I knocked on the door. There was no answer, so I sat on this old chair that was on the porch for a little while to rest my feet, I had been walking all day and it was hot.
Both the front screen door and door were closed. I only sat there for about 5 minutes. I then decided to walk over to another old friend name John Phillips house, who lived just one street over on Wainwright St.. So I went back down Westford and took a right on Helmers and then took a right on Wainwright. I knocked on the side door of his house and got no answer. I then decided to hell with this, I will just go home to Ried Street.
I left Johns house by walking down the driveway and taking a left on Wainwright headed towards Irvington. So when John’s grandmother testified that she witnessed me walking out of her driveway onto the Street, I believe that is just what she saw. But she left out which way I turned. I know I turned left heading toward Irvington, if I would have gone back towards Helmers, I would have turned right. I would had just cut through her front yard as we all did and she wouldn’t had seen me step on to the street as she testified to. So I do believe she did see me step into the street from her drive way. Which to me verifies that I did not go back towards Helmers, but instead towards Irvington away from Mrs. Franklin’s house.
Now where John Phillips grandmother is absolutely wrong is when she said she knew me. I had never met that woman in my life until like two weeks prior to the murder and that was only one time. So when she testified that she hadn’t seen me in over 2 years, again this is false I never met her before, or she me. I don’t know why she would say this. I hadn’t seen John in well over 4 years. I hadn’t been in that neighborhood in 4 years, so I do not know why she would say she knew me when she didn’t, much less the way I walked.
At this time, I am feeling really high, yet I am still aware of what I am doing, so I decided I needed to get home to Reid St. I hit Irvington once again and took a right heading towards Reid St. But first I stopped at this used car lot at the corner of Irvington and Westford to get a drink of water. I am really thirsty so I get a drink of water from this hose, but now I am really starting to feel the effects of all that beer, half a joint and that little blue pill I took. I was like moving in slow motion. I can’t explain it. But it was like everything hit me all at once when I started to drink that water. So I decided to sit down on the rail in front of the car lot facing Irvington. I can tell I am really messed up now. I haven’t had this much beer in me in over 3 years, so I slide back in between these two cars. I lean my back against one and stretch my legs out under the car in front of me. My stomach and head are both spinning at this time. I was seeing double and I closed my eyes to rest them and that is the last thing I recall doing. Apparently I blacked out, because the next thing I recall is I was waking up under the Hardy Toll Road overpass at Hardy and Crosstimbers. I woke up feeling really groggy but I wasn’t drunk anymore. Yet I was still plenty high and felt buzzed.
I recall I was really thirsty and I remembered a park just a few blocks over where Kari my ex and I used to sometimes hang out, that was behind this school Berry Elementary. I do not recall the name of the park but I think it is Cryden Park. So I took a left on Hardy going towards Eubanks and then took a right on Eubanks and then a left on Schneider St. and went to a house that was directly behind the park that we used to cut through the yard to get to the park as a short cut. Cutting through the side yard of the house, it is now pitch dark, so as I am walking unaware to me. I walk right into this 6-foot-tall fence!
This was something new to me, it never used to be there. So I climbed over the fence went into the park but I couldn’t see the damn water fountain, it was too dark. So now I climb over the fence that is connected to the school. I then walk to the school buildings where I know there will be water fountains. I found one and drink and drink until I feel like I am going to burst. As I was drinking, I sensed someone was watching me. There was, it was this tall black man I have no idea if he was a teacher or janitor, but he was loading what looked like cardboard boxes into a wooden classroom. He was just watching me, we were about 60 feet away from one another, I think we were shocked to see one another, I know I was, he then asks me: “what are you doing here?” I said: “Just getting some water and taking short cut.” He then replies: “You need to leave; the school is closed. Don’t be cutting through the schoolyard anymore”. I said: “Okay”, and drank a bit more water and he went back to doing whatever it was he was doing. I really like to find this man and see if he recalls this. But after 20 years, I doubt it.
I then walked around to the front of the school but couldn’t find the gate out, so I just climbed the fence and walked to the right down Berry Rd. The school is on Berry Rd. At this time, I decided I was going to head back to my grandma’s house, I figured I was just about half way from Reid St. at Berry Rd. and Berry Rd. to Cedar Hill, but Cedar Hill is actually a little further. But not by much. I headed down Berry Rd. and turned left on Lumax Rd. and took that to Aldine Westfield Rd. Walked down Aldine Westfield towards little York.
At this point I dig into my jacket pockets for my smokes and found that they aren’t there. I patted my pockets and noticed that my comb, brand new Zippo lighter, pocket knife and money are gone. The money had been in my cigarette pack. If I had to guess I would say I lost this stuff underneath the Hardy toll Rd… Hell, who knows it could still be there.
As I am walking I am still thirsty and I was now at my old elementary school, Coop Elementary on Aldine Westfield and Parker Rd. I climb over the fence and went right to the water fountains on the playground. Since I used to go to this school I knew right where the fountains would be.
I then left the school grounds walking down Aldine Westfield to a side street called Hardwood Lane and turned right, which curves into Shady Lane that leads right to Little York Rd. I turn right on Little York and walk to the bayou that has a trail that will lead me right to Cedar Hill to my mom and grandmothers house. There was a newly built black top path way that went alongside the bayou that wasn’t there before I went to prison. I hadn’t been in my grandmother’s neighborhood in a little over 4 years, so this black top trail was new to me. I walked the path until I came to the first street on the right which was Kowis Rd. I then turned right onto Kowis and walked about 60 yards down the street to a house that was directly behind my grandmother’s house, I cut through the back yard that has a 6 ft. high wooden fence, I jump the fence, then the rack yard fence that leads directly into my grandmother’s yard, and into the house I go. Right through the back door, which lead into the kitchen. I recall going right up the sink sticking my mouth right to the facet and drinking a lot of water. Then going to the ice box and getting some ice water. I then put some left-over spaghetti into the microwave and went into my mom’s room and saw that my little brother Timmy was still up. I told him he needed to get to bed since I think he had school the next day. And then went into my grandmother’s room where she, my uncle and little Aunt Charlotte Marie were at in her room watching TV. I bummed a few smokes off her and talked a bit with her and my aunt. Then went into the kitchen and ate. I called my girlfriend Merry Alice and we talked for a bit and made plans for me to come over and then went to sleep.
I would bounce from house to house sometimes staying with my mom and then staying with her boyfriend David on Reid St. But I actually lived on Reid St. with David and that is where of my things were. But David and I would always go to my mom’s to eat and wash clothes. That was just the way it was. David was rarely home so there was very little food there so we ate at moms and grandma’s. I moved over to that neighborhood to be closer to Merry. She only lives a little over a mile away, while from my grandmother to her house was more like 8 miles. I had no car so I had to walk everywhere I went. I just wanted to be closer to Merry, which is why I moved over there. (see map from 706 Ried St. to 1201 e, 26th St. and compare distance from 3014 Cedar Hill Ln to 1201 e 26th St.)
These are the event of my day on October 15, 1992 to the best of my memory. The day of the murder of Mrs. Franklin.
Next day, October 16, 1992.
I once again woke up and my grandmother’s house on Cedar Hill Lane. Ate, showered, changed into some clothes I had their putting the clothes I was wearing into my extra duffle bag and got a few dollars from my mom’s stash (she was a waitress and always had a jar full of loose change), so I took about 5 dollars or so. I then walked to the same store as the day before, P&S at the corner of Cedar Hill and Bentley. I bought a pack of cigarettes and a root beer and walked down Bentley to the bus stop and took the bus to down town Houston Main Street, I crossed over Main Street and then caught another bus that would take me down to Airline Dr. to where Merry Alice lived off Airline Dr. and E. 26th St..
While I was at Merry’s house, my mom called and told me that police were looking for me and wanted to talk to me. I cannot recall the exact time. She called maybe around 5: pm or so. I asked her why. What did they want? What did they say? I was thinking maybe it was for a parole violation. So I told her: “Screw them Ma”. Then she replied: “C. I told them you were at Merry Alice’s’ and where she lived”. I said: “What? Why would you do that ma?” I told her: “Okay”, and we hung up. I was standing in the kitchen where the phone was and thought to myself: “Man fuck this”, since my mom didn’t tell me why they wanted to talk to me and they didn’t tell her. All she said was there were a lot of cops there looking for me. I didn’t know what to think. I thought it maybe it was because I may have failed a urine test. Because I was smoking a lot of weed at the time when I shouldn’t had been. And that is ground to violate parole. So I felt it may be for that. I then decided to split. I didn’t know where Merry was, I always thought she was across the street. But she said she was there, I just flat out do not recall that, so I looked in on Chris, the baby, and covered him with his little blanket and walked out the back door.
I went down the driveway and cut through the front yard and thought about going to one on Merry’s friends house, but then I decided to go to my friend Ray’s house, Ray is the one who introduced me to Merry. As I am walking down the Street (I don’t know any of these Streets names, as I am not from this area, so I am a bit lost), I see a police car heading my way really fast. But I just keep walking and it passes me so I just walked on and then crossed the street. I look behind me and sure enough I see that he turns into Merry’s Street. I then make my way to this side street because I decided to double back and make my way to Merry’s friend’s house. Since he lived just two streets over while Ray lives about five streets. So now I cut through some yards staying off the street. I see another cop car and bend over and pick up this water hose acting like I am messing with it. When the police car passed by I drop the hose and went to the next street where Merry’s friend lived. He had a few friends of his over. They were all in his front yard drinking and smoking weed, having a good time just hanging out. I didn’t know any of these people, I really didn’t even know her friend. I asked him if I could speak to him so we went inside his house and he handed me a beer I then told him the cops were at Merry’s house looking for me. He told me to stay there at his house and he would go and check things out. I stayed there for about 5 minutes and didn’t think it was a good idea, so instead I went out the back door and jumped his side fence and walked a little way up the driveway of the yard I was in. From there I was able to see Merry’s house and I could see there were cops everywhere, I then knew I was trapped. I just stood there for a but and wondered what the hell they want with me.
I know this part I am about to explain may not make sense to many people. But you have to understand I was scared and did not want to go to jail. I just got out of prison, I did two and a half years flat on a 10 years aggravated and before that I did 6 months on a year county time. I hadn’t been out but a couple of months and just flat out did not want to talk to the police about anything. I did not want to be placed in handcuffs, or taken to jail for anything at all. And I know they would have. I had had enough of being locked up, it sucks, it is no fun, and so what I did next was: I crawled under the house I was standing next to, it was a house but had been turned into a business and there was nobody there. I crawled under the house as far as I could get right next to the wooden fence that divided the yards and just waited. I heard the police coming and I could see them with the dogs, they were now opening the doors of the dump truck right next to the house right where I had just stood and they were looking everywhere. I then saw they brought the dog and it was sniffing the ground at the very spot where I had just crawled under the house. I thought for sure they knew I was under the house. One of the police officers flashed his flash light under the house right where I crawled under, I don’t know if the dog told him something and he just ignored it, but soon after they moved on.
As I am lying next to the fence I can sort of hear this police officer talking to this guy, a few feet away from me but I cannot make out what they are saying. From where I am laying I had a clear view of Merry’s house. I saw all the cops leave but I just stayed there and fell asleep for a bit. When I woke up, it was dark. I then crawled from under the house I had no idea what time it was, but from there I made my way home to where I lived on Ried St. at 706 Ried St. with David my mom’s boyfriend was there. He told me to just stay put while we figure things out tomorrow. I agreed and called Merry who told me that the police hadn’t been back. She also told me they took my jacket but she didn’t know why.
After talking to Merry, I asked David to take me to her house, he said he would and drove me over to her. I stayed there for a little while talking to Merry and I went back to Reid St., washed up and went to bed.
My mom and little Aunt Charlotte Marie came to David’s. We all went to Merry’s and from her house we all went back to my grandmothers to eat. I then had them take me back to Merry’s house. It was at that time my mom told me something about a murder, I think it was at this time, but I know for a fact she didn’t tell me about it on the phone call when she called me at Merry’s house. All of this took place over 23 years ago. I’m writing all this out in January 2016. So again my memory isn’t the best. But anyway, I was now aware of why they wanted to talk to me. But I still didn’t know whom it was that was supposed to had been killed. Later that night Aurora, Merry’s mom took me her and the baby to the house on Ried St. where we stayed the night. I felt it was the safest place to be. I stayed up all day and all night so I was pretty tired.
The day before I had talked with my mom and told her I would go to the station and talk to the police. So the next day I was going to go alone and talk to them while Merry stayed there at the house with the baby. As I said I had talked to my mom and she and I had a long talk about this, so that was the plan. I know I told my mom I would go…but truthfully I was having second thoughts. I just flat out didn’t want anything to do with the police. I have always been like that. I am a street kid, and rule number 1 is, don’t talk to the police about anything.
Soon after Merry and I were lying in bed, and I think she was getting ready to take a shower, I heard tires on the gravel. I peek out and sure enough there were a couple of unmarked cars out there. I didn’t know how they got the address. I really thought this was the safest place for me to be. It is not until later that I learned who told them where we were. I told Merry the cops where there. I got dressed and went to open the door. Merry is just a few feet away from me so she can hear the whole conversation.
Sgt. Waymom Allen asked me: “are you Charles”? I said: “Yes” He then tells me to come out and talk to him. I said: “Sure” and that is when he told me I was being placed under arrest for trespassing, I was a bit taken aback by this.
I was thinking, what the hell is he talking about? So next Sgt. Allen handcuffs me and leads me to the car, but before get in, one of the officers tells me: “look at me”. I look at him and he tells me to tell him I didn’t do it. I told him: “Man I didn’t do anything”. He then looks at Allen and said to him: “Yeah, he did it”. I told him: “I don’t know why I ran that night, I was just scared, and I don’t like talking to cops so I just left”. So at that point I made up my mind I would do whatever it took, whatever I had to do to convince them I didn’t do anything. I hadn’t done anything wrong.
But it was clear from the moment they placed handcuffed on me, their minds were made up about me. They put me back in the car and a few moments later they took me back out and read me my rights and asked if they could search my bedroom. I said:
“Sure” and they did. Then they asked me if they could take my clothing, I was wearing that night. I said: “Sure”. It was all in the duffel bag right by the door, they then asked if they could search this old van in the drive way, I said: “Yes” and they did.
Now before they placed me in the car the second time, I noticed Merry coming out of the house, with all the baby’s things and Chris in her arms. I then saw them putting her into the car and asked: “Hey where y’all taking her?” Someone told me they were taking her home at her request. So I was fully under the impression that she was being taken home even the cop that was driving me to the Station said they were taking her home when I asked him about her, and ‘not to worry about her, she is going home’. This is the same one I talked to about an attorney. Told me ‘they would be talking to me about all that at the Station’. Later on I found out it was Merry’s little sister who told them where we were. And I do not fault her for that at all. Hell frankly she did the right thing. I mean, they tell her that her sister may or could be in danger, so yeah out of love for her sister she showed them right where we were. I would have done the same thing if they told me my sister was in danger.
Now here is something about why I kept going back to the house on Ried St. I felt it was the safest place for me to be. My thinking was that nobody except those close to me knew where I was. I had no idea that it was my friend’s grandma that had been murdered. If I would had known and that they suspected me, I sure wouldn’t had gone to the house on Ried St. Lee Rose and Eric Benge knew where I lived as well as my daughter’s aunt Cynthia. I didn’t have anything to do with the death of their grandmother. I respected the hell out of Lee Rose. I thought of him as a friend. Number two, if I would had murdered Mrs. Franklin, there isn’t any way I would had went back to the house on Reid St. Lee and Eric both knew I lived there. All of these people knew I lived there. Had I known it was someone whom I considered a good friend not only Lee and Eric, (I was closer to Lee, but Lee’s mom Linda…man I respected that woman,) that it was their grandmother and her mother that was murdered, and if I did it, I sure wouldn’t had taken my girlfriend and her new born son there. I am half crazy, I admit that, but I am not that Stupid.
My mom and everyone else felt that David’s house on Reid St where I was living was the safest place for me to be. Not only that, but my mom knew my friends Lee and Eric, if she would has known it was their grandmother the police wanted to talk to me about, she would had told me. It wasn’t like she hadn’t met them before. She knew right where they lived. She dropped me off there enough times in the past and she even warned me to stay away from all my old friends because she knew they lived just a few streets away from Reid St.which is 0,9 miles away. But she also knew this is the neighborhood where I got shot, so I had enemies there as well. This was a bad area for me to be in. She hadn’t seen any of my old friends in 4 years as well. So she may not have recognized them on the news, she never told me if she did! The sole reason for which I moved over to Reid Street is so I could be closer to Merry. She only lived about a mile or so from Reid St, off Airline Dr. and E. 26 th. And David, my mom’s boyfriend, was going to try and help me get my driver’s license so I could go on the road with him and pick up buses. So I really felt this was the safest place for me to be.
Now once I am taken to the police Station, I am taken to homicide division and taken to Sgt. Allen’s office. They bring me a hamburger and coffee, it is here that Sgt. Allen tells me that he wants to talk to me about a murder…. This was totally different from what he had told me outside the house, when he told me that I was being arrested for trespassing. Even the arrest warrant says trespassing and that is what they used to obtain my blood. I still don’t see what a trespassing warrant has to do with being allowed to take my blood. But apparently it is legal.
As Sgt. Allen is telling me this, I am repeatedly telling him: “look dude, I don’t know anything about any murder. I didn’t do anything.” He then starts asking me if I knew an Edna Franklyn. I told him no, it never registered that he was talking about Lee and Eric’s grandmother, I didn’t know her by ‘Edna’. I always referred to her as Lee’s grandma or Mrs. Franklin. The only Edna I knew was my little cousin Edna. I never called Mrs. Franklin, Edna and I don’t recall any of our friends calling her Edna. I personally never called her grandma either, I have my own grandma, I never heard anyone other than Lee and Eric and my old best friend James Jorden call her grandma. For me it was always Mr. And Mrs. Franklin as well with all our friends. They called her Mrs. Franklin.
So right there Sgt. Allen thinks I am lying to him. He then asked me if I knew Lee Rose and Eric Benge. I tell him yes, and that is when he informs me that their grandmother was murdered, then it hits me, that her name was Edna. I’m not saying I didn’t know her name, I’m just saying I didn’t register.
So now he starts asking me to tell him about my day, as in where was I. I am leaving a lot of things out. Things I wasn’t aware that he knew, like when I told him I stayed at home all day and just walked around the neighborhood. He knew I was lying. That’s when he asked me about my brother, I intentionally didn’t mention my little brother, so I left him out. So to Sgt. Allen that is the second lie he caught me in.
He then asked me what I did then. I told him I went home and my brother went to visit his girlfriend in Bellair. Again he tells me he knows I am lying. He then asked me if I know a woman named Shirley Gunn. I tell him “No I do not. I don’t know anyone by that last name”. He asks me: “Are you sure? Are you real sure?” I tell him: “Look man I just told you I don’t know any Shirley Gunn, I don’t know anyone named Gunn”. So he then asked me if I know a James Parks. I had to think about it for a moment and recalled: “Yeah, my old friend Crawldad is James Parks. That’s when he informs me that Shirley Gunn is his mother. I never knew her last name was ‘Gunn’ I always thought it was ‘Parks’ like her sons. But he doesn’t believe me, thinks I am lying to him. That Is lie number 3. He then asked me if I talked to her. I said yes, that’s when he tells me: “But I thought you said you went home from your brother’s house?” I tell him ‘yeah I went home after visiting her.’ Again he tells me he knows I am lying. I think he is full of shit. I keep insisting that I went home. He then asked me if I was over in the Crosstimbers and Irvington area. Again I tell him no, but this man knows I was. That is when he tells me: “So you don’t remember talking to a Barbara Wright?” So now I am curious and think how the hell did he know this? I said: “Yeah, I was over there and talked to her, so what?”
So now he has caught me in all these little lies. Why was I lying? I kept telling the man I didn’t do anything and he wasn’t believing me so I just thought: ”Fuck him, I ain’t going to tell him anything”. I have never liked cops I am a street kid as I said and as such I was taught don’t talk to the cops about anything. Stupid reason I know, but that was the way I thought back then. I felt if he wasn’t going to believe me, why tell him anything? I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, and truthfully now that I have grown up and changed my way of thinking, I don’t see much sense in it either. But even today, I don’t tell these guards anything, I don’t see anything, I don’t hear anything I don’t know a damn thing, I know nothing. So they know not even to ask me. Yet while I didn’t want to talk, he just keeps on questioning me.
So once again I tell him: “Yeah, I recall talking to her about if she would talk to my daughter’s mom about allowing me to see my little girl”. And yeah, once again, I told him I went home after that. But again he isn’t having any of that, he is now repeatedly asking me if I went over to Mrs. Franklin’s house, and I kept telling him: “No, not then”. Told him: “Yes, I went there knocked on the door no one answered and I left. I really went home.”
He now starts asking me how much I had to drink that day. And like a dumbass I told him ‘I wasn’t drinking’ but everyone he talked to had already told him they either saw me drinking or smelt it on me. So now I admit I had a few, then a lot, then I don’t recall how much all I know it was more than I had drank in over 3 years. So I was pretty wasted.
But every time he would talk me back to going to her house and knocking on the door, I would repeat I went over there knocked on the door and left.
I don’t recall anything. I am telling him that is all I did. I knocked, and left. But he just wouldn’t let me leave that porch. He then asked me again if I went into the house. I am telling him: “No man, I didn’t go into their house. I left and went to john Philips and he wasn’t there and then I went home, and on my way home I just blacked out because the next thing I know I am under the Hardy Toll Rd.”
Now by this time I have to use the restroom. So as I am going to the restroom I could had sworn I heard a little sound that sounded like a baby. So on the way back I hear it again and got a glimpse of Merry, the door was just slightly open. We walk a bit further and I ask him if that was Merry in there and what are they doing here? He tells me: “Come on let’s go to the office and talk some more”. I didn’t move, he puts his hand on my arm as if to encourage me to go. I pull away and he said: “Don’t do that, let’s just go and talk”.
So we go back to his office and then into a different office, all the while I am asking him why are they here y’all told me you were talking her home. Why is she here? But he isn’t answering me. At the house they told me they were taking her home, as did the cop who drove me to the Police Station.
I guess he got tired of me asking about her and that is when he told me: ”Look we find her hiding out with you”. I told him we weren’t hiding out; I was coming to talk to them anyway. But of course after all the lies I told him, he wasn’t about to believe that little bit of truth. So he then tells me: ”And not only do we find her with you but that baby to”. Granted these aren’t the exact words word for word, but they are pretty damn close. I understood out what he was hinting at…
I know that one detective that drove me there told me that they could charge her and would have to call someone to come pick up the kid. I didn’t want her to go through that, being a kid who had been in Child Protective Service (CPS). I know just how things work. And once they have you, they do not let go. And they would have heard that his mom was found with a suspected murderer with his baby right there? There is no way they wouldn’t had taken him from her, put her in jail, strip searched her, finger printed her and worst of all, I think she could had handled all that, but the worst thing would had been them taking her son from her, by force if that is what it took, and all because she loved me and wanted to be with me? Then CPS would have done what they call a home evaluation, and that would not have been good, not at all. They had too many people in a two bed room house, 6 adults and 5 children. In the eyes of CPS that doesn’t fly. All of this is running through my head. She is not going to get him back. I understood perfectly well what they could do to her if they wanted and if I wouldn’t have falsely confessed. They would had locked her up and taken the baby away. So yeah, he had me and he knew he had me, he knew right then and there I would do anything to protect her and do anything he wanted to get her and the baby home, and I did. I falsely confessed to a murder I didn’t do. I did what I felt I had to do to protect her and get her hell out of there. And once I said the magic words and signed that paper that he typed up, true to his word, he told them to take them home, he even allowed me see her for a bit and to call her from the Station and make sure she made it home and everything was okay. This is when I told her that it was my friend Lee’s grandmother that had been killed, I was allowed to talk to her for a little while and after that I was loaded in a van and taken to court.
I have been here for 23 years for something I didn’t do. Thanks to DNA they know I didn’t do. The thing about DNA is that it cannot lie. You cannot fake DNA. One thing I know, my blood type is O type blood, and nothing from me was found there. Yet there was a different blood type found and it damn sure isn’t mine, nor is it Mrs. Franklin’s grandsons Lee and Eric. If not ours then whose? Also I had none of her DNA on me. No defensive wounds. How could I in a drunken stupor in a violent assault, have zero wounds or DNA on myself or DNA on her? So that is it in a nutshell.
I am really writing all this stuff down for one person, my daughter. Yet I don’t mind sharing it with the public or media.
I am truly sorry for all the pain Mrs. Franklin’s family has had to endure throughout these years. But I am not the one who killed her. I believe throughout the entire DNA testing and all the new facts that have come to light, I have proven this.
Here is something that no one seems to take notice of, and that is, on October 15, 1992 the across the Street neighbor Mrs. Donna Espadas whom came home at 6: pm noticed a white male standing at the south east bedroom window taking off the screen which Eric Benge the oldest grandson had just nailed down that day.
It sure wasn’t Eric; he was at work that day. It wasn’t Lee, this lady knew both Lee and Eric by sight, they are hard to miss, both standing over 6’2″ and over 200 pounds. She said in the police report we the person she saw was not Eric, and when pressed for a better physical description, she said she thought it was a white male light to medium build wearing a t-shirt and jeans. (police report at pg. 2.003 and 2.021 (TCCA opinion no. AP -74,930 at pg. 5)
Now a few things about this.
- Everyone that saw me that day is in agreement on one thing. The type of clothing I was wearing. I was wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, dark shoes, and a black concert t-shirt. Now I think Mrs. Espadas would have been able to identify that, yet she gave no description of the items I was wearing.
- And here is why she couldn’t. Shirley Gunn in the police report and at my trial testified that I was at her house at 6: pm on the dot. Which is almost 3-4 miles away from Mrs. Franklin’s house. In fact, Shirley Gunn states in the police report that I left her house shortly after 6: pm. (see police report at pg 1.021 shows the distance from Mrs. Gunn’s to Mrs. Franklins. And also see map).
So who was this person at that window taking off the screen to the window that everyone is in agreement with, that someone entered and murdered Mrs. Franklin that the across the street neighbor Donna Espades saw? Someone forcibly took that screen off by prying it open with a screw driver. That was found on the window seal ledge… And it sure wasn’t me; I cannot be in two places at once.
Who is this mystery man? Is that his DNA which was found under Mrs. Franklin’s nails? I don’t know but I would love to find out. All I can say it is not mine. Not one drop of Mrs. Franklin’s DNA is on any of my clothing nor mine anywhere in the house on the many items tested. This was a bloody crime scene. How could I not leave with even the smallest amount of her DNA on me? It is flat out impossible.
Yet everything has been tested and retested and it has all came back with none of my DNA on either of her things, nor any of her DNA on my things. You can’t just wash blood out; blood will always leave a trace. You may not be able to tell whose blood it is but the presents of blood will remain. That is something else; this DNA detected was from blood. Blood and blood only, they have ways of determining what part of the body DNA Is from, dead skin, hair, snot, seaman, spit, and blood. And they have all come to agreement that this DNA is from actual blood. Someone bleed and left blood. But not me!
One thing about that screw driver that they feel someone used to pry open that window, my post-conviction DA falsely stated to the TX Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) that everything that could be tested was tested…. this is not true. That screw driver has never been tested; it was tested for fingerprints, but not DNA. I never touched that screw driver in my life. I wish it to be tested. It will be just one more thing my DNA is not on. These, the very item they say I used to pry open the window to go into the house. What more must I do to prove I didn’t kill Mrs. Franklin? Test the screwdriver and let the test prove once and for all I never used that screw driver and didn’t kill that poor woman. I don’t think I am asking too much here to have it tested, more so since the DA falsely told the TCCA that it was tested. I don’t think I am asking for anything that they wouldn’t be asking for if the roles were reversed, right? Any reasonable thinking man would want this screwdriver tested and an innocent man would push to have it tested. I know I didn’t go through that window. I know I didn’t murder Mrs. Franklin. I know I never touched that screwdriver; I cannot go through a locked door. And one thing I know about Lee and Eric, they always locked that door. It was a habit. (Also see Eric’s testimony at XXXVII at 69-70, 77,130-1.) Test the screwdriver before it too comes up ‘missing’ as other important evidence has. (See photo of the screwdriver)
I also don’t feel I am asking for anything that they, all of them, from the lawyers to the DA’s, to the judges and police and any reasonable thinking person would want, and that is this,
DA Lynn Hardaway has convinced the courts that this DNA ‘could’ had come from one of the victim’s grandsons friends, and let’s not forget that this DNA is from actual blood. Let’s test them. There were some names listed in the police report that Lee Rose and Eric Benge provided to the detectives that I never knew or heard of before. But that is all they are, names, no address or phone numbers. (See Police Report at 19 2.017, 1002, 1003)
Eric Benge has since passed away, but Lee Rose is still alive; he could provide the names and address or last know addresses of these people. And let’s test them. I am not asking for anything everyone in the district attorney’s office would not want if they were me, or the judges for that matter. All I want is to have the screwdriver tested, and the grandson’s friends. This is life and death, I think this new blood DNA should be enough to warrant these test. Look It Is not my DNA, it is not Lee Rose or Eric Benge DNA. I would think that Lee and Linda would like to know whose blood was found underneath their loved one’s fingernails. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would. (Police report at 2.013)
I think I have shown that these test should be conducted. More so since the DA Lynn Hardaway has convinced the courts that it ‘could’ be from one of the friends, relying on sheer speculation. I don’t believe speculation would be allowed in an actual trial…but it seems they can do it during appeals.
And that is just what the DA has presented to the courts ‘sheer speculation’. Let’s rely on facts that science can prove through state of the art DNA testing.
Here is a list of the names that Lee Rose and Eric Binge provided to the detectives the night of the murder
1)1.002 talks of some guy named ‘Curtis’ (never heard of him, I don’t know him)
2) 1.002 Eric Is asked to provide a list of names of people recently in the house. The list:
- John Phillips (whose DNA is on file due to criminal history, I know John)
- Anthony Charles (I do not know whom this guy is)
- Gary Smith (I do not know whom this guy is)
- Mondo (I do not know whom this guy is)
- Jeff Hattenback (I do not know whom this guy is)
3) 1.003 – Lee added one more name to that list of names Eric gave.
- Warren Flanner (I do not know whom this guy is)
All of these names I have never heard of, with the exception of John Phillips or Jeff Hattanback. I might know him if it is the same Jeff I met a few times before and I don’t ‘know‘ him. Maybe talked to him 2 or 3 times. All of these guys are guys that Eric and Lee met in the 3.5 years that I was out of that neighborhood while I was living and working in Deer Park TX. And while I was in the Harris County jail for 6 months on a year county time, and while I was in prison on a 10-year aggravated robbery charge and did 2, 5 years flat. The last time I saw Linda Mc Claim was in 1988 Thanksgiving Day when Kari and I had Thanksgiving dinner at Linda’s house. Again Lee Edward Rose is the man to talk to since he is the one that provided these names to the detectives.
I will go a step further and add the names of guys I knew 3.5 years prior to the murder of Mrs. Franklin that Lee, Eric and I used to run around with. But it should be noted that Lee and Eric did not mention these following names. I don’t know why, other than they likely drifted apart in the 4 years I was out of that neighborhood.
- James Jordan (my old best friend whom I loved as a brother)
- Kenneth Caddis (old friend)
- James Parks (old friend)
- Blaine Earl Wright Jr (my daughter’s uncle)
- Shawn Wright (my daughter’s uncle)
It should be noted that Lee mentions in the police report that he and John Phillips were riding around with Shawn Wright, shortly before 5: pm. (see police report 1.001)
There is one other name and this guy is and was no friend of mine. I knew and met him through my best friend James Jorden. I didn’t like this guy because every time he came around he would get James to shoot dope with him, I did not like that. This guy did not hang around the group of guys I hung with 4 years prior to the murder of Mrs. Franklin. However, once I got out and went to visit Lee, I was told by him that Edward bangs lives there or lived there. That would have been unheard of back when I was hanging with them. He was into the harder Stuff. And didn’t hang with us (See Police report at 1007). Edward Bangs has a criminal record so I am sure his DNA Is on file. Many of these guys could have been locked up by now, and if so, there is a Strong chance their DNA Is already on file.
I don’t know if any of these guys will read this, but if so, I have a request. And that request is fairly simple; may I have access to your DNA? I already know my old friends didn’t murder Mrs. Franklin they were not the type, but people change in years. But I believe they were all accounted for.
But that isn’t the question, the point of all this is, I want to know if it is one of their DNA. If the DA can speculate that this DNA ‘could ‘ had came from ‘innocent’ contact from one of the grandson’s friends, then okay, lets answer that question now by means of a simple DNA test, a simple little cotton ball swab on the tip of a stick and just swab he inside of their mouths, very painless, all I need is just a little bit of their spit.
It will do one of two things,
- It will be one of theirs and the DA’s theory might be right, but that does not mean the inquiry stops there.
- It will not be any of these guy’s DNA.
And If not any of these guys…then whose?
I would like for these guys to come forward on their own and submit their DNA for testing, I don’t think I am asking too much of innocent men right? To at the very least answer the million-dollar question ‘who’s DNA Is It that was found under Mrs. Franklin’s nails?’ So if they are innocent of this crime, then submitting DNA to show they are innocent shouldn’t be a problem. It wouldn’t cost them any out of pocket money whatsoever. It would however rule them out. I have submitted my DNA many times, and I can honestly say, I am 100% excluded from the blood that was scraped from underneath Mrs. Franklin’s fingernails.
(see police report, officers observed blood underneath fight nails at 2.013 position of the boddy ‘ dried blood caked underneath fingernails, also see 1.011 detective Jim Norris ‘he observed blood underneath fingernails’
So I humbly beg any one of these guys to submit to DNA testing, and have Lee Edward Rose and or his mother Linda McClain provide my attorneys or me with the full names and or last know addresses.
There was blood underneath Mrs. Franklin’s nails because she fought back. As noted by detectives (see police report 1.012-b Jim Norris ‘defensive wounds’.
1.004 defensive wounds, 2.014 defensive wounds, 2 signs of struggle and 1029 defensive wounds.
I would say Mrs. Franklin as old as she may have been went out with a fight. She scratched someone good enough to draw just a little blood. That is a fact. And that is all it takes. Just a micro amount of DNA, to tell whose DNA it is.
So yes I am begging these guys to come forward and please submit to a DNA testing. It is the district attorney who said the blood DNA ‘could’ be from ‘Innocent contact’ from one of the friends. So all I need is for the friends to just spit in a cup or allow my attorneys or the DA’s office to swab the inside of their mouth’s… Let’s find out!