Bert Franklin, a successful dentist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was charged on Thursday in the child abuse-related killing of 19-month-old Lincoln Lewis, the baby son of the woman with whom Franklin — who is married with four kids — had been carrying on an affair with the past year, according to a police affidavit revealed in The Oklahoman newspaper.
Franklin, a well-known dentist in Tulsa, who lived with his family in a home valued at $1.3 million, was arrested on July 20, two days after little Lincoln Lewis died from injuries related to a fractured skull.
According to police, Franklin was leading a double life, with his seemingly well-to-do and idyllic family in Tulsa — while at the same time he was in a romantic relationship with Roxanne Lewis Randall in Oklahoma City, about 100 miles southwest of Tulsa.
— Jonathan Cooper (@KOCOCooper) July 29, 2016
Investigators say that while Franklin’s wife and family had no idea he was having an affair, Roxanne Randall was also unaware that the man she was seeing was, in fact, married with a family in a nearby city. The dentist had lied to her and deceived her, and deceived his own family as well, she told KWTV in Tulsa.
Lincoln Lewis was Roxanne’s son, described as a happy child who fought hard for his entire 19-month life to overcome physical problems that he’s suffered since his premature birth. The little boy often wore a helmet to protect his still-developing skull, according to a report by KOTV News in Oklahoma.
But on July 17 police say, Randall left Franklin alone with the child as she was upstairs in her Oklahoma City home, and in that time, Franklin did something to fracture the boy’s skull.
Randall told police that she heard a “thud” from downstairs. Franklin claimed the sound came from a ball he threw across the room to the family dog. But police didn’t buy his story.
The following video news report from KOCO TV News contains further details on the crime, and the accusations against Bert Franklin in the death of little Lincoln Lewis.
Hours after hearing the “thud,” Randall noticed that her son was sleeping with his eyes open and snoring loudly, but would not wake up. He was then rushed to Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City.
At the hospital, doctors found that little Lewis had suffered a fractured skull, and that they “believed the injuries were consistent with possible abuse.”
The boy was transferred by helicopter to the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Tulsa. But doctors there were unable to save Lincoln, and he died as a result of his injuries the next day.
Tulsa dentist Bert Franklin charged with First degree murder in metro baby death. pic.twitter.com/Zb2RAzmEU6
— Adrianna Iwasinski (@AIwasinski) July 29, 2016
An autopsy revealed that Lincoln had hemorrhaging in both eyes and severe brain swelling. The autopsy also showed not one, but two fractures to his skull, according to The Oklahoman.
According to Oklahoma City Police Detective Andrea Motley, Randall said that Franklin had recently been exhibiting disturbing “controlling behavior” and had threatened to kill and mutilate the father of her child.
Franklin is a native of Tulsa who had been a practicing dentist there for the past eight years. He appears in the following video, advertising his dental practice, Signature Smiles.
Police may be able to find clues as to exactly what transpired in the downstairs room between Bert Franklin and the little boy after they examine the contents of a hard drive from a home surveillance security system in Randall’s home.
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Bert Franklin was held with no bail after being charged with first degree murder in the killing of the boy. A GoFundMe page has been created to help with the funeral expenses for 19-month-old Lincoln Lewis.
[Featured Photos via Tulsa County Jail/Lincoln Lewis GoFundMe Page]