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Death Sentence Delayed for Serial Killer
CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- He was just seven years old when a serial killer murdered his brother and cousin.
And until around 6p.m. Tuesday afternoon it appeared Joseph Paul Franklin's death sentence for another murder was set to be carried out.
Breaking news about the serial killer who terrorized Cincinnati in 1980; Joseph Paul Franklin was set to be executed at one minute past midnight central time. But a federal judge granted a stay. Franklin and a group of other inmates are challenging Missouris method of execution.
For family members of Franklin's victims this is yet another delay of justice. Two boys hit by sniper fire on Reading Road were two of Joseph Paul Franklin's murders.
Franklin says he wanted to start a race war. He was sent to death rows for the 1977 sniper attack on a 42-year-old man outside a suburban Saint Louis synagogue.
When it comes to the 1980 murders of Cincinnati cousins 14-year-old Darrell Lane and 13-year-old Donte Evans Brown, Franklin now says he's sorry.
Gunned down by sniper fire on a summer night the close cousins who shared a birthday died together as they walked to a store on Reading Road to buy snacks.
To Donte's 7-year-old brother, it was the boogey man who killed them.
There was no other explanation. Thats what he's always been known to me, the boogey man, the devil.
Lavon Evans and Local 12s Deb Dixon have been back to the trestle many times in 33 years. That 44 magnum rifle bullets fired by avowed racist Joseph Paul Franklin matched bullets from other sniper murders across the country. Eventually he admitted to killing the boys on his cross country spree.
Franklin said he saw an interracial couple go into this motel, and became so enraged he waited with his rifle for them to come out. When they didn't he killed the cousins.
On the trestle, Lavon tries to imagine his brothers fear that night. That night changed so many lives. Lavon says he would like to watch Franklin die.
The Evans family is going to have to wait a while longer now. A judge in Missouri has put Franklin's execution on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging Missouris manner of execution.
Joseph Paul Franklin confessed to Deborah Dixon that he killed two hitchhikers in West Virginia in 1980. The problem is, another man was doing time for the double homicide. Because of that confession the investigation was reopened, Jacob Beard got a new trial, and was acquitted. Beard walked out of prison after doing 8 years for murder he did not commit.
Franklin killed at least 22 people on his crime spree around the country. His targets were blacks, Jews and anyone who associated with them. He committed his crimes over the course of three years. He robbed banks and committed murders. He stalked his victims and shot at them from a distance in the style of a sniper. He carried his high-powered rifles in guitar cases.
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