Murder trial against Tulsa dentist enters second week

OKLAHOMA CITY - Defense attorneys for a Tulsa dentist accused of killing a baby boy have presented their first witness in the ongoing murder trial.

Bert Franklin is accused of killing 19-month-old Lincoln Lewis in July 2016. Lewis was the son of Roxanne Randall, an Oklahoma City woman Franklin was having an affair with.

The trial entered its second week on Tuesday morning.

The defense called a physician, board certified in pediatrics and neurology, to testify in court Tuesday morning. He was hired by the defense to review Lincoln's medical records, including CT scans.

The physician told the court the baby suffered a subdural hematoma with a blow to the left back side of his head.

"One-year-old's don't get subdural hematomas for no reason," he said.

However, the physician testified there was no way to tell exactly what or when it happened based on CT scans alone. In his experience as a medical professional, he testified he had seen head injuries in other cases that were accidental.

It's possible Lewis "took a tumble and nobody noticed" within the last day or so leading up to his death, the physician said.

During cross examination, defense attorney Scott Adams objected several times suggesting the state was not allowing the witness to fully answer questions before "interrupting and moving on to another topic."

In one incident, a prosecutor questioned how many times the physician saw or treated patients with injuries similar to Lewis' but did not die. He answered he had seen it but was unable to provide a specific amount or names.

The state also noted the physician was not a radiologist nor did he consult with other doctors about Lewis's injuries to compare conclusions.

Franklin has also been charged with soliciting murder. Prosecutors say he tried to hire a hit-man to kill Randall.

The state called an investigator to the stand Tuesday for the solicitation charge. He told the court Franklin's cell-mate told him [investigator] Franklin wanted a woman killed and later learned the woman was Randall.

The investigator said the first thing he had to do with determine whether the tip was credible. Eventually, the investigator had a smuggled cell phone be given to Franklin.

Phone calls made on a phone smuggled into jail to Franklin were played in court. In one, Franklin is heard giving directions to Randall's home in Oklahoma City a man now identified as a confidential informant. In another conversation, money was arranged to be transferred.

The phone's search history was also presented in court.

Adams argued none of the recorded conversations or texts alluded to a plan to kill or harm Randall.

"I think the end of the day, whenever the jury takes a look at everything, they’ll see there’s reasonable doubt all over the place and that’s what we’ve been talking about since day one," Adams said.

The trial will continue Wednesday.

Judge Cindy Truong said the jury may go into deliberation on Thursday.

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