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Tulsa Dentist Accused of Murdering Toddler had "Double Life"

01-Aug-2016

A Tulsa dentist accused of fatally abusing his girlfriend's 19-month-old son was living a double life, prosecutors say.

Bert Glen Franklin, 35, is a married father of four who lives in Tulsa. However, he also had a girlfriend in Oklahoma City, with whom he had been in a relationship for more than a year. Neither Franklin's wife nor mistress knew of the other woman.

However, they soon found out there was more to Franklin than they ever thought possible. Earlier this month, the toddler son of Franklin's girlfriend was taken to Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City, where he was diagnosed with multiple skull fractures and hemorrhaging of both eyes--injuries considered to be consistent with child abuse. He was soon flown to the pediatric intensive care unit at Tulsa Children's Hospital. Unfortunately, the toddler died of his injuries on July 18.

Two days later, Franklin was arrested in Tulsa on a first degree murder complaint and booked into the Tulsa County Jail before being transferred to the Oklahoma County Jail, where he is currently held without bond.

The child's mother says that Franklin was alone with the child when he sustained his fatal head injuries. She told investigators she recalled hearing a "thud" at some point before finding the baby unresponsive, but Franklin allegedly told her the noise came from throwing a ball to a puppy. Reports say the toddler never regained consciousness after spending time alone with Franklin.

The defendant is also accused of making threats against the toddler's father. The child's mother says Franklin told her he wanted to kill the man and threatened to "skin him in Bricktown and cut his penis off."

Oklahoma County prosecutors filed a murder charge against Franklin on Thursday. 

In Oklahoma, any death resulting from child abuse is charged as first degree murder, whether the resulting death is intentional or not. First degree murder is punishable by life in prison or life without parole. In some cases, a first degree murder conviction may be punishable by death if the killing is found to be "especially heinous, atrocious, cruel, or depraved," or if it meets one of several other conditions specified by law as aggravating factors in seeking the death penalty.

Learn more about Oklahoma homicide charges here, or visit our child abuse page to read more about Oklahoma's child abuse laws and penalties.



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