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Franklin Enters Guilty Plea in Fatal Earhart Street Shooting

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Isaiah James Franklin Isaiah James Franklin
Denzel Morton Denzel Morton
Markwin Taleek Howard Markwin Taleek Howard
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Another man connected to a fatal shootout along Earhart Street will be spending time behind bars.

Isaiah James Franklin appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court Wednesday, November 29, for what was scheduled to be the first day of his jury trial.

Charlottesville police had originally charged Franklin with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and felon in possession of a firearm.

Franklin decided to take a deal from the prosecution, and entered a guilty plea for second-degree murder. The agreement sets the maximum prison sentence at 15 years.

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania said the victim’s sister had approached him and asked for a settlement to avoid putting her family through the strain of a multi-day trial.

Franklin is admitting to shooting 23-year-old Denzel Olajuwon Morton along Earhart Street on July 17, 2016. Markwin Taleek Howard, Morton’s cousin, had shot at Franklin during that incident.

Responding officers found Morton suffering from a gunshot wound in a parking lot around 3 a.m. Morton was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center where he died from the injury.

Howard entered Alford pleas on March 8, 2017, to two felony weapon possession charges. The plea means Howard admits there's enough evidence to convict him. He was sentenced on May 4.

Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced March 14, 2018.

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