Franklin said he purchased a gun because threats were made against him and his friend’s family.
On the night of the shooting, Franklin said he was attending a house party in Middletown and went on a run to get more alcohol and marijuana.
Franklin said he wanted to talk to Johnson to tell him he had nothing to do with any of the problems. After passing the packed bar several times, he said he asked to be dropped off.
“I am not even from here,” he said he wanted to tell the 23-year-old Johnson.
He didn’t enter the bar because he was aware there may be guns and drugs inside. Instead, he said he went through the parking lot by the Dumpsters, where he urinated and then began talking to his girlfriend on the phone.
That is when he heard people come out onto the patio and he walked to the fence to talk to Johnson.
“I say, ‘Hey man, what’s up? I heard you want to kill me,” Franklin told the jury.
He said Johnson’s answer was: “Boy, I ‘ought to.”
Then there was a shot.
Franklin said he pulled out his gun and started “running and shooting.”
He said he wasn’t aiming the gun at anyone.
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“I shot while I ran,” Franklin said, adding that he was in fear for his life.
“I feel I was protecting myself,” he said.
After the shooting, Franklin said he threw the gun in a flower bed because he was just in “a shoot out” and was walking down the street with a gun.
“He shot at me first,” Franklin answered when asked why he shot Johnson.
During cross examination, Franklin admitted he had never talked to or seen Johnson before approaching him at the bar. He also said he did not see a gun in Johnson’s hand when he talked to him at the fence.
Prosecutors questioned Franklin about several versions of the shooting that he told Middletown police, including that he was never at the bar and he was at the bar but stayed in a car.
Franklin is charged with murder and four counts of felonious assault.
The prosecution has rested its case, and Franklin was the defense’s only witness. The trial is expected to continue Friday with closing statements in Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom.
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