[WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT]
Prosecutors introduced shocking surveillance footage at Bert Franklin’s bond hearing, Wednesday saying it shows the exact moment he murdered his girlfriend’s 19-month-old baby, Lincoln Lewis. According to News Channel 4, the disturbing footage was captured in July at his girlfriend’s house; the same night that Lewis suffered a brain bleed and skull fracture.
Doctors diagnosed the 19-month-old boy with a displaced fracture. They also said the severe trauma and swelling of his brain as well as the hemorrhages in his eyes were consistent with abuse. He died less than 24 hours after being rushed to a Tulsa hospital the next day.
The distressing video which drew sobs in the courtroom shows the 35-year-old dentist cradling the baby in his arms. The baby is animated, and all appears to be well. The dentist then heads into the living room out of the view of the camera which is in the kitchen. A few minutes later, he returns to the kitchen to get a pizza, and the baby is limp in his arms.
Lewis’ mother, Randall revealed to police that she heard a thud as she was coming down the stairs, but her boyfriend told her he was throwing a ball to the pet dog. Randall said she noticed her son lying on the couch with pillows around him and that Franklin told her he was sleeping.
She said she did not realize anything was wrong until she tried waking up Lincoln a little bit after midnight to eat and he did not stir. Randall said she noticed that his breathing was heavy, and his eyelids were fluttering.
Prosecutors who showed the video at Bert Franklin’s bond hearing said a possible motive for the brutal killing of the baby was that the Tulsa dentist was jealous of the amount of time his girlfriend was spending with Lincoln’s’ father.
The attorneys added that Franklin who had lost his license to practice was a flight risk because he had been indicted for fraud. A client who had known him for years had given him her credit card number over the phone in a bid to lend him $15,000 to purchase dental equipment; Bert made three charges that totaled $80,000.
They also told Judge Cindy Truong that the disgraced dentist, who is married with four children, had been accused by one of his children for abuse in the past and that he had sent violent texts to Randall’s ex-boyfriend promising to “skin him in Bricktown and cut off his p***s.”
The presiding judge rejected setting his bond calling Bert a “danger to the community.”
Franklin’s undeterred attorney, Scott Adams, said they would try again.
“Hopefully in the near future after we get through the preliminary hearing, we will re-urge the motion, and I think it will be successful.”
Adams admitted that he had not seen the video supposedly incriminating his client, saying he was unconcerned because his client had provided an explanation for it.
“I mean it is what it is. Dr. Franklin has told us there was a dog in there, and any actions he had was towards the dog, and I believe him.”
An Oklahoma City detective who was present at the hearing testified that she is convinced that Bert Franklin slammed the 19-year-old baby’s head first on the floor before making a violent kicking motion at a particular spot on the floor. A column blocks what he is actually kicking on the floor.
In 2010, Franklin was suspended by the dental board for 90 days and fined $6,000 for sedating patients without a valid license. Investigators also say that some of his employees have criminal records; Sadie Height has been charged with forging prescriptions and Paige Maples for practicing dentistry also without a license.
Bert Franklin lives in $1.3 million house in Tulsa with his family. He had been dating Randall for over 12 months. She said she had no idea he was married. Randall, in a December, 2014, Facebook post, had revealed her son was born prematurely and was only allowed to leave the hospital February last year.
She called him a “miracle baby.”
Bert Franklin has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Lincoln Lewis and is being held without bond.
[Photo by iStock]