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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UPDATE SEE CORRECTIONS IN BLUE CAN THIS STORY GET ANY WORSE - Sheriff Franklin - The Stand Off - How Well Did Sheriff Franklin Know Roger Stevens?



The Standoff

It is pretty common knowledge in the local law enforcement community that Sheriff Franklin will try to "stick her nose" in any high crime situation, even if it does not involve her agency.  The following is from our local law enforcement sources, who to say the least are left shaking their heads in anger as to what was observed Saturday when two deputies broke all the rules of law enforcement negotiation.

Decatur Police worked hard to solve a vicious senseless domestic homicide.  DPD has a very capable homicide detective unit.   What is not clear with our sources is how Sheriff Franklin became involved with DPD's case.  The suspect, the husband of the victim, was tracked after hard work by DPD homicide detectives to a Target contract trucking company lot on Greenbrier Road in the Huntsville City limits in south Limestone County.

HPD responded as well as DPD.  Both the DPD and HPD swat teams responded as well as their negotiators for the suspect was locked in his company diesel tractor truck and refused to come out.  Tactical perimeters were set up by the SWAT TEAMS.  Sheriff Blakely and his deputies were on scene as well as  MORGAN COUNTY SHERIFF ANA FRANKLIN and four of her deputies.  Wait a minute! This is in the City of Huntsville, it is a Decatur Police investigation.  Huntsville and Decatur Police are on scene, and Limestone County but...MORGAN COUNTY ALSO???

Just a few days previous Chief Deputy Mike Corley was quoted in the Decatur Daily stating that at any given time there are only 5 deputies on patrol, and four went to Limestone County?  According to our sources, neither Limestone nor Morgan County were called to assist.  You can understand Limestone responding, but Morgan County?  Oh!  Cameras, Press, Pictures!  We get it now.

Back to the scene, after the "perimeter" was set up, Sheriff Franklin and Sheriff Blakely, Sheriff from Limestone County decided to go to the truck and conduct the negotiations.  Not only did they go, they got in the truck where the suspect was given whiskey that came out of Blakely truck.  This angered HPD and they immediately pulled back and their SWAT team left the scene.  All other officers that had carefully set up a perimeter that included positions for their safety, had to re-adjust because of these actions.  Then as if this wasn't bad enough, the Sheriffs allowed the suspect's brother to enter the truck as well.  Folks you can't make this stuff up.  What did Ms. Stevens death mean to Sheriff Franklin?  

According to our sources this goes against all modern day training in these types of situations.  Was the brother frisked for weapons?  Who knows?

Once they emerged from the truck Sheriff Franklin REFUSED to allow DPD to place the suspect under arrest for murder and to place him in handcuffs.  She refused to allow DPD to even have the suspect, telling DPD detectives that she was going to carry the suspect to see his dad in Somerville before she took him to jail.  What took place is not clear according to our sources but, the suspect did not go and see his dad, we are told DPD held firm that was not going to happen.  The sheriff did not allow DPD to transport their prisoner.  She and another deputy transported the un-handcuffed murder suspect in a sheriff's vehicle with no cage to the Decatur City Jail.

You will not hear this from any officer on the scene, nor will you hear this in the press.  DPD and HPD, unlike Sheriff Franklin, are too professional to say anything publicly about this stand off.  This is not the first time Sheriff Franklin has tried to "take over" a DPD scene.   She tried when a strange package was found on a railroad car at Daikin in Decatur, when DPD had the situation well under control.

We will add that there is a possibility that Sheriff Franklin may have been asked to assist in some way in locating the murder suspect; some family members live in the county.  But based on our law enforcement sources she and her Sheriff friend from Limestone County did not coordinate with the other agencies on scene, and took over.  Grandstanding?   Our point is DPD and HPD are highly trained and to be blunt both sheriffs could probably learn from them. GRANDSTANDING?  Our view, you bet! And folks, it won't be the last time.  The Sheriff is commander in chief, and that is not a professional mind set.

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