Friday, February 23, 2001

Teen faces lengthy prison term for slaying

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — At 17 years old, Sedrick Franklin of Hamilton will be sentenced to at least 18 years to life in prison.

        Mr. Franklin, tried as an adult because of his prior juvenile record, was convicted Thursday of murder and felonious assault. The charges stemmed from a July 5 drug deal that went sour at Ludlow and Ninth streets.

        A Butler County Common Pleas Court jury found that Mr. Franklin fired the shots that killed Bruce “Pappy” Hennig, 58, of West Chester Township as he sat in a car, and that Mr. Franklin also attempted to shoot Darrell Wyatt, 36, the car's driver.

        The shooting happened after Mr. Wyatt, of Hamilton, confronted Mr. Franklin for selling him “fleece” — fake crack cocaine — for $40. Assistant Prosecutor Craig Hedric contended that Mr. Franklin fired the shots because he didn't like being embarrassed in front of his friends.

        After the verdict was read, Mr. Hennig's son, Edward, 30, said, “I'm just glad justice was done.” He walked up to Mr. Hedric, shook his hand and said: “Thank you. You did a very good job.”

        Mr. Hedric said the case illustrates the devastating ripple ef fects of the crack-cocaine trade.

        “One person is dead and a whole lot of lives are messed up ... and you can trace it all back to the use and sale of crack. It's a hideous drug,” Mr. Hedric said.

        The jury announced its guilty verdict after about 3 1/2 hours of deliberation.

        Under Ohio law, the mandatory sentence for murder is 15 years to life. But because the crime was committed with a gun, three more years are added to Mr. Franklin's minimum sentence.

        Mr. Franklin also faces two to eight years for the felonious assault conviction, plus an additional three-year gun specification.


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