A Grieving Mother Of A Murdered Baby Doesn't Feel Safe
An Oklahoma dentist has been put away for life, yet he's managed to keep his lone survivor looking over her shoulder.
Bert Franklin was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2016 death of his girlfriend's 19-month-old son, Lincoln Lewis.
Ahead of trial, Franklin was caught in a murder-for hire plot to kill the child's mother. He had managed to hire a hitman from his jail cell. However, investigators successfully intervened before any harm was done to his intended target, Roxanne Randall.
"He's never expressed any remorse," Roxanne Randall explained that she was dating Franklin for about a year before her son's murder.
In hindsight, Randall believes it was Franklin's charm that kept her from seeing his dark side, a violent one.
She says Franklin falsely led her to believe that he was separated from his wife during their lengthy divorce. And to this day, she doesn't understand what motivated him to kill Lincoln.
"Lincoln wasn't crying, we weren't fighting, there were not drugs or alcohol or any of these triggers," Randall says, " Lincoln was just sitting there being the best boy."
Randall's in-home security camera captured some of the attack.
"You see Bert look at his phone and then he just kicks him [Lincoln] and then walks over and gets pizza and eats pizza and then throws him to the ground," Randall described the video without watching it.
She has it memorized, the video which haunts her.
That paired with his jailhouse attempt to have her killed, Randall fears she will never be safe. She pleaded with the court to send Franklin to a maximum security facility.
"With all of these things he did while incarcerated...it kinda led me to believe that would be a one way ticket to a maximum security facility," said Randall.
Instead, Franklin is living out his days at Joseph Harp Correctional, a medium security facility.
"I thought for sure he would be under lock and key... because given the chance with the outside world he has proven that he will manipulate… murder…and do anything. He is a danger to me," she cried.
"She is very frightened of this man and she has every right to be," Jessica Brown with the Department of Corrections says she understands Randall's concern.
Brown says Franklin was assessed as all inmates are, by the severity of the crime, prior violence in prison, escape history, criminal history and age, and medium isn't a mistake.
"He actually qualified for minimum but because of the severity of his crimes we put him in medium," explained Brown.
If Franklin were in maximum security, every aspect of his day would be managed by correctional officers.. medium security inmates have more yard time and jobs.
"Most of our very violent criminals go to medium. The maximum is reserved for the violent offenders that are management problems," said Brown.
Still, Randall worries her ex's 'management' problem won't be recognized until it's too late.
"As long as he is alive I don't think I will be safe," said Randall.
She is sharing Lincoln's story with the hope of helping others. Randall says she has since learned the more obscure warning signs for domestic violence.
To hear more of the story, Roxanne Randall has an ongoing podcast : podbean.lifeafterlinc.com