Tulsa dentist accused of trying to have mother of his alleged victim killed
OKLAHOMA CITY (KTUL) —
A Tulsa dentist accused of killing his girlfriend's baby will face more charges after allegedly attempting to hire a man to kill the woman.
Bert Franklin, 36, was set to go to trial Monday but the matter was delayed after he was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree.
Court records show that Franklin, who is in the Oklahoma County Jail, contacted a man via a cell phone and offered him $300 to kill the woman. Franklin also allegedly gave the man turn-by-turn directions to the woman's home.
Franklin, who was a dentist in Tulsa at the time of his initial arrest, was charged with murder in connection with the death of 19-month-old Lincoln Von Henry Lewis in July 2016 in Oklahoma City. Court documents say video evidence reportedly shows Franklin slamming the baby's head into the ground before he was found unresponsive.
The baby's mother told police she had been in a relationship with Franklin for more than a year at the time of the child's death. Franklin was married at the time, and neither the victim's mother nor Franklin's wife knew about each other, according to court documents.
Court records show that informants within the Oklahoma County Jail were approached by Franklin about the possibility of killing a witness. The two reportedly discussed hiring a former inmate to kill the woman.
The two reportedly spoke about transferring money through Walmart to compensate the man for the crime.
At some point, a recordable cell phone was given to the informant to pass to Franklin. Following a Nov. 30 jury trial call docket Franklin reportedly used the jail's messaging system to ask his wife to put $300 in another inmate's account. He reportedly told his wife that the money was for "spiritually related reasons".
During a recorded call on the cell phone Dec. 2, Franklin reportedly gave the man the victim's address and step-by-step directions to the home. Another call placed Dec. 3 allegedly has Franklin telling the man how to avoid security cameras at the victim's home.
In August, the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry voted to suspend Franklin's license to practice. Prior to his arrest, the board had been investigating Franklin in connection with various complaints made by patients and witnesses. The complaints under investigation included allowing an unlicensed person to practice dentistry, felony fraud, writing forged prescriptions and engaging in sexually explicit dialogue with a patient.