Judge sentences Tulsa dentist to life in prison for toddler’s death

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma man found guilty of murdering a 19-month-old child and trying to hire someone to kill the boy’s mother has been sentenced to life in prison.

"He tried to hire someone to kill me, so that's worrisome,” said Roxanne Randall.

Tulsa dentist Bert Franklin was found guilty of that, and first-degree murder in the death of Randall’s son, Lincoln Lewis.

Wearing big buttons with little Lincoln’s face for all to see, Randall fought back tears as she read a lengthy statement to the court during Franklin’s sentencing on Friday.

"I just made sure that I went over everything that happened and just what a threat he is to myself, my family and the community,” Randall said.

"It makes absolutely no sense what he's done. The fact that he, after killing this child, would try to kill this child's mother is hard to wrap your brain around,” said Gayland Gieger, an Oklahoma County assistant district attorney.

During the trial, the state said the most important piece of evidence was Lincoln himself when Franklin was seen on home surveillance making a kicking and throwing motion, later carrying Lincoln while eating a piece of pizza.

Franklin’s attorneys argued he was kicking the dog, not the child.

A jury found Franklin guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder. They recommended life without parole and, on Friday, a judge agreed.

"Judge Truong certainly did the right thing. This jury did the right thing, and we're very pleased that this process in bringing Mr. Franklin to justice can come to an end,” Gieger said.

"Just relieved with the verdict, with the sentence and that he will never be out of prison,” Randall said.

Franklin’s attorneys told the judge they will file for an appeal. They declined to comment when asked by reporters.

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