BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — The manslaughter trial for Albert Franklin Jr. is coming to an end after the state and defense rest their cases Friday evening.
Back on March 12, 2018, Zachary firefighter and reserve police officer, Christopher Lawton with another agent attempted to issue an arrest warrant to Franklin while he sat in a U-HUAL truck in a Walmart parking lot in Baker.
As the plainclothes officers approached the truck, Franklin allegedly took off running Lawton over and killing him within minutes.
The defense argued Franklin did not know Lawton nor the ofter officer were police and fled the parking lot out of fear.
“The state had a burden to carry, they had elements that they had to prove and I don’t think that they proved them,” said one of Franklin’s attorneys Anthony Angelette.
East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings called several witnesses over the last few days including Ashley Chaney, who was in the passenger seat of the U-HAUL truck.
The questioning got heated between Chaney and Cummings when it appeared Chaney was not recalling events as was recorded four and a half years ago.
“I think the state expected another opportunity to potentially cross-examine our witnesses, but after looking at the state’s presentation, we just didn’t think it was necessary,” said one of Franklin’s attorneys Stavros Panagoulopoulos.
Closing arguments will begin Monday morning then the decision will be given to the jury. If convicted of manslaughter, Franklin could face up to 40 years behind bars.
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