Middletown murder hearing continued; time needed to review evidence

12:46 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 Middletown

The attorney for a man charged with the fatal shooting outside a Middletown bar in May said today he cannot set a trial date until reviewing hundreds of pages of evidence.

Malcolm Franklin, 27, formerly of Louisiana, is charged with murder as well as three counts of felonious assault for the gun violence on May 30 at D&J Nite spot.

Franklin allegedly shot Julian Marquis Johnson, 23, outside the Elliott Drive bar during the early morning hours. Three others were injured by gunfire, according to Middletown police.

Middletown police Detective Jon Rawlins testified during a preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court that Franklin confessed to killing Johnson.

Attorney Frank Schiavone III told Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater during today’s hearing that he had just received evidence from the prosecutor and needed time to review it before moving forward.

A pre-trial hearing was set for Nov. 7. Franklin has waived his right to a speedy trial. He is being held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

“I anticipate filing a motion to suppress,” Schiavone said, adding that Franklin made several statements to police without an attorney present.

According to Rawlins, Franklin talked with him four times after his arrest and said he “observed the victim come out the back side of the bar … he has a gun on his person and opened fire.”

Franklin recognized Johnson from some rap videos on YouTube, but he had never actually talked with him, according to Rawlins.

The shots were fired from a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, Rawlins said. Franklin was spotted a short time later riding a bicycle. A resident later found the gun in her flower bed.

Rawlins said Franklin told him he fired the deadly shots because of threats to a woman.

Julian’s father, Kenneth Johnson, told this media outlet in May that Franklin was sent to Middletown to kill his son.

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