Attorney Representing Tulsa Dentist Accused Of Killing Child Speaks Out
OKLAHOMA CITY - The attorney representing a Tulsa dentist accused of murder tells News 9 there's no reason his client should not be considered for bond and that he would be open to both house arrest and electronic monitoring.
"There's no reason for him to leave," said Adams. "There's no place for him to even go."
Though his client, Bert Franklin is originally from India, Adams says Franklin and his parents moved here when he was 5, and he does not consider his client to be a flight risk since his parents, family and livelihood are all in Oklahoma.
Adams filed a motion requesting bond late Monday afternoon. He is asking a judge to set Franklin's bond at $100,000 and a hearing has been set for August 17th. Last week Franklin was denied bond during his formal arraignment. But Adams says he has represented other clients accused of murder, even the murder of a child, who have been granted bond.
"It is very rare," said Adams. "However the law provide for it. And what the government has to show is the evidence of guilt is great - and the presumption of innocence is literally not there."
Adams says he came up with the $100,000 figure by looking at the bond schedule and doubling the highest amount listed. Adams states there's no reason Franklin should not be afforded a reasonable bond considering he has no criminal past.
"There is nothing in Dr. Franklin's history or past that would show any sort of violent tendencies," said Adams. " In addition to that there's nothing that I've seems so far that would lead me to believe Dr. Franklin had anything to do with the injuries sustained to this baby."
Franklin is facing a first degree murder charge in the death of 19 month old Lincoln Lewis of Oklahoma City. Lewis died at a Tulsa hospital after being transferred there from an Oklahoma City hospital after being brought in by his mother, Franklin's girlfriend. Court papers state she told investigators Lincoln was sleeping with his eyes open and making a loud snore sound. She said she couldn't wake him and his body was limp.
Court papers also state doctors at the hospitals stated the baby showed severe brain injuries and showed signs of severe blunt force trauma to the head that ultimately lead to his July 18th death. They state Lincoln's mother also told investigators that Franklin was in the living room alone with Lincoln when she heard a loud thud, hours before she took him to the hospital.
But Adams says he will have medical experts from Boston and Alabama look at Lincoln's injuries to determine the timeline of when his injuries may have occurred, and when he started showing symptoms. And that could determine if any other people should be investigated besides Franklin.
"His history shows he's done nothing in the world other than volunteer with organizations that help children with regards to fixing their teeth," said Adams. "He's donated enormous amounts of time and money helping kids and there's not been anything in his history that show any propensity to harm a child so I believe everything he's saying."
As for allegations that Franklin threatened to harm Lincoln Lewis biological father, Adams had this to say:
"There is no indication that Dr. Franklin ever acted out on anything like that and never caused harm to anybody period."
Adams says Franklin is extremely distraught about what has happened but plans to pursue a vigorous defense. Adams says his wife is standing behind him, she loves him and she knows he's not capable of doing anything like this. As for the secret affair.
"It certainly doesn't rise to the level of murder I mean there's a lot of people as we speak today that are doing exactly what Mr. Franklin has been accused of which is having an affair on his wife.
"That is between Dr. Franklin and his wife - it has nothing to do if he did anything criminal."
Adams says DHS did investigate Franklin's own 4 children and claims the investigators found nothing - no signs of any abuse to his own kids or others.
"There is nothing in Dr. Franklin's history or past that would show any sort of violent tendencies. " said Adams.
Adams says he has not seen the home surveillance video Lincoln's mother has provided to police, but says he believes his client is not the only one police should be investigating in connection with Lincoln's death.
"I am not convinced that the child had been injured there at her residence," said Adams. "I'm not sure that he hadn't been injured previously as he was with some other individuals and then started exhibiting symptoms of distress later on after the baby came home."
The Oklahoma City police report does state Lincoln's mother admitted Lincoln took some tumbles down the stairs inside the home previously, and that he had been in the care of relatives earlier that day. Adams says from everything he's seen and heard he's convinced Franklin is not responsible for the injuries that lead to the death of little Lincoln Lewis.
"All I know is Dr. Franklin states - and I believe him - that he did not do anything to this child," said Adams.