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Jury: Gary man not guilty in 2013 double murder

Updated: May 25, 2014 3:53PM



Lake Superior Court jurors on Wednesday acquitted a Gary man in a January 2013 double murder in Gary.

Jurors deliberated for two hours and 15 minutes before clearing Samuel L. Franklin in the shooting deaths of Deshalone Williams, 18, and Terrell Frazier, 21, who were shot to death in a car driven by Williams near 7th Avenue and Clark Road.

With no physical evidence linking Franklin to the crime, defense attorney R. Brian Woodward argued that a key eyewitness, Halicia Hazley, who was Williams’ girlfriend, “created a memory” by searching for Franklin on Facebook following the shooting.

Hazley testified during the trial that she had met Franklin, now 21, a few days prior to the shooting and had seen him speaking with Williams, the day before the shooting. She picked Franklin out of a six-person photo lineup.

“She looked at the photograph, made an assumption and created a memory,” Woodward told the jury in his final argument.

Woodward further questioned Hazley’s identification of his client as the shooter, citing her admitted marijuana use and the dark window tint through which she recalled seeing Williams talking to Franklin at a gas station at 15th Avenue and Clark Road in Gary.

The man, who wore a dark hoodie pulled close to his face, got into the back seat of Williams’ car about 10 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2013, and they drove to 7th Avenue and Clark Road where the hooded man started shooting.

Deputy Prosecutor Michael Toth said the seven .40-caliber shell casings and four bullets recovered at the scene, along with three bullet holes in the car, matched Hazley’s description of seeing the first shot hit the windshield before she fled to a nearby ball field.

Toth recalled Hazley’s testimony that she told police she didn’t know who the shooter was but could identify him.

Williams and Frazier, who was a passenger in the car, were shot once in the head, Dr. Young Kim, forensic pathologist with the Lake County coroner’s office, testified.

Franklin is also being held on a pending robbery charge and a petition to revoke probation in an earlier robbery case.



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