An Oklahoma-based dentist who fatally beat his mistress’ 19-month-old son and hired a hitman to kill the mistress as he awaited trial learned his fate on Friday.
KOCO reported that Bert Franklin was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the July 2016 first-degree murder of Lincoln Lewis. He was also sentenced to life in prison on a solicitation charge related to the attempted murder of Lewis’ mother, Roxanne Randall.
KFOR previously reported that a home surveillance camera caught Franklin throwing and kicking Lewis, causing the head injury that killed him. Moments later, he’s seen holding the lifeless toddler; defense attorneys argued that the “figure” he was filmed beating was the dog.
Randall was in the home at the time of the fatal beating but wasn’t in the room. She testified that she heard a loud noise and Franklin claimed he was throwing a small ball to the dog.
Lewis died shortly after the beating. An autopsy revealed that he sustained two large skull fractures, retinal hemorrhaging to both eyes, and subdural and subarachnoid hematomas, according to KJRH.
KTUL reported that Randall and Franklin had been in a relationship for a year at the time of Lewis’ death. Reports indicated that Franklin hid his marriage and four children from Randall.
Randall claimed Franklin made comments suggesting a deep hatred towards Lewis’ biological father. According to KFOR, prosecutors believe Franklin was upset that Randall was spending time with Lewis’ father.
The court heard recorded phone calls placed by a cell phone smuggled into Oklahoma County jail for Franklin. The calls revealed that Franklin arranged for a hitman to kill Randall as he awaited trial.
“The jury has heard this evidence. The evidence, in our opinion, was overwhelming of his guilt. It’s hard to fathom a man who could do what he did to this little baby and then coldly, calculatedly plan to solicit the murder of this child’s mother,” Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger said, according to KFOR.
The disgraced dentist was also ordered to pay nearly $13,000 in restitution. The two life sentences will be served concurrently.
[Featured image: Bert Franklin/Oklahoma City Police Department; Lincoln Lewis/GoFundMe]