The courtroom was packed with family and friends of both the victim and the suspect, to hear the outcome of Brandon Franklin’s case.
Judge Jose Lopez ruled Franklin not guilty by reason of insanity.
Franklin was charged with the murder of Marvin Stewart in January 2015 after Stewart was found by police suffering from stab wounds. After undergoing mental evaluation, Franklin was released to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to undergo mental treatment.
He signed a waiver of trial, giving up the right to a trial by judge or jury.
In the courtroom, the prosecution read off the events leading up to the murder of Marvin Stewart on Jan. 8, 2015.
Judge Lopez said that even though Franklin was found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would have to stay at St. Elizabeth’s until doctors deemed him no longer mentally ill or a danger to himself. This means he may have to stay there longer than his maximum sentence had he pleaded guilty, according to the judge.
Afterward, two family members of Stewart read statements they had prepared for the court, begging the court not to release Franklin due to fear that he would return and harm other family members. The statements also listed several family members suffering from anxiety, PTSD and general health decline from the trauma of the murder. They said they respectfully asked for justice so their family could receive some sort of relief for the trauma they’ve endured.
Judge Lopez said he recognized the strength and courage that both family members demonstrated in reading their statements.
Another hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29.