Heart of the Valley residents remember brutal crime 10 years later

Heart of the Valley residents remember brutal crime 10 years later

By Elizabeth Gentle
WAFF 48 News Reporter

Ten years ago the Heart of the Valley was shocked when a teenager brutally killed his parents with an axe and slashed three of his siblings.

Monday, we visited the neighborhood where it all started on

March 10, 1998 is a night no one on Camelot Drive in South Huntsville will ever forget.

"Jeffrey killed his parents and did a job on the three others that were there," says neighbor Becky Grega.

Grega lives across the street from the house Gerald and Cynthia Franklin called home 10 years ago.

She remembers the night the Franklin's oldest son, Jeffrey, used a hatchet to brutally kill his parents and slash his siblings.

Grega says she's reminded of that grizzly night every time she looks across the street.

"You think about it everyday. When you see the house," says Grega.

And the images of that night.

Franklin --shirtless in handcuffs -- spitting, cursing and making obscene gestures at police and news crews.

He was diagnosed with ADHD before his parents were killed.

A doctor prescribed Ritalin, Prozac and Klonopin to treat his condition.

Franklin admitted to police he abused the drugs.

"Even 12 days after this tragic event happened he still had almost a lethal amount of Ritalin in his blood stream," says Grega.

Ten years later, Jeffrey Franklin still sits behind bars serving three life sentences.

He still stays in touch with his former attorney.

"I think he's doing better. He's participating in a program with psychological problems he's apparently still on medication," says attorney Robert Tuten.

The three children who were injured in the attack, Sarah, Timothy and Christopher Franklin, and their sister, Stacey, who was not at home, now live in New York with relatives.

Tuten says recently Franklin and his brothers and sisters began communicating with each other.

You can contact Elizabeth Gentle at egentle@waff.com