'Friend' says shooter had temper, but was never violent

December 14, 2003|GARY MOYERS

Doug Phillips of Boyle County said Saturday he has no idea why his longtime friend, Timothy Franklin, killed his father, aunt and uncle Friday night before he himself was shot and killed by Kentucky State Police in LaRue County.

"He called me about 10 and told me what he'd done," said Phillips. "I didn't know whether to believe him or not, because he gets out in left field sometimes when he's been drinking. But I drove over there, and that's when I found them."

Phillips found Timothy Franklin's father, Robert L. Franklin, 72; his uncle, Roy C. Franklin, 74; and his aunt, Carrie J. Franklin, 71, at their homes, which stand side by side on Little Needmore Road. They were all dead from gunshot wounds.

Phillips said he immediately dialed 911, and was still talking with police officers when Franklin called him on his cell phone.


Phillips told police about the call, and KSP trooper Van Wright was able to establish contact with Franklin and learn his whereabouts in LaRue County. Shortly after 1 a.m., trooper Dennis Oldham found Franklin in his father's wrecked pickup and ordered him out. According to a KSP press release, an altercation ensued, during which Oldham shot and killed Franklin.

"I don't know how this could have happened," said Phillips. "Timothy has been having trouble for a long time, but it got a lot worse when his mom died about a year ago. He got served with divorce papers at about the same time, and he hasn't been the same since."

Phillips said Franklin sometimes lost his temper, but never violently.

"He called me a lot, and usually all you had to do was talk to him and he'd calm down," he said. "He'd go off and yell and scream some, but he never did anything violent that I knew about."

Phillips said Franklin's last words to him in the second cell phone conversation Friday night would haunt him.

"He just wanted me to make sure his daughter knew he loved her," said Phillips. "He kept saying that over and over. I think he knew he wouldn't see her again, so he wanted to make sure somebody told her."

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