Disclaimer: “All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The trial for a man accused of killing a police officer in a 2018 hit-and-run in Baker off of Plank Road began Wednesday morning.

A jury was selected on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Franklin is charged with manslaughter and if convicted, the penalty could imprison him for up to 40 years. His attorneys feel confident in their defense

On Monday, March 12, 2018, Zachary police officer and firefighter Christopher Lawton was killed after being hit by a U-Haul truck at the Baker Walmart while on duty. Two suspects who attempted to flee were caught, arrested, and identified by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office as Albert Franklin, 37, and Ashley Chaney.

Franklin was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, hit-and-run, and damage to property, and Chaney was arrested on an obstruction of justice charge.

Lawton served the Zachary community for over 20 years as a firefighter and police officer, according to a statement from Zachary Police Department in 2018. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

The East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office’s autopsy showed Lawton’s manner of death as a homicide and the cause of death due to blunt force injuries to the head and torso.

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