PRESS RELEASE, 9/11/2012

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces plea in death penalty case

Today, David Franks (B 1201722) entered a guilty plea to Count 1 Aggravated Murder, Count 3 Attempted Murder, Count 4 Attempted Murder, Count 5 Attempted Murder and Count 6 Aggravated Burglary.    The State of Ohio dismissed Count 2 Aggravated Murder and Count 7 Aggravated Burglary as well as the death penalty specifications.

Franks was charged with breaking into his in-laws’ Green Township home and shooting his father-in-law, James Schobert, on March 11, 2011. He was also charged with firing upon the 3 responding police officers.  Under the indictment, he faced the possibility of the death penalty. 

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven Martin accepted Franks’ plea this morning and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutor Deters commented, “It is extremely rare for me to authorize a plea in a death penalty case.  I only do this if we receive information after the indictment that significantly impacts the case and our argument for the death penalty.  In this case, we learned after indictment that Franks suffered a traumatic brain injury that would have impacted the argument for the death penalty.  Several years ago he had a documented construction accident at work when a wall fell on him.  By all accounts, his behavior dramatically changed after this serious accident.  Only with the agreement of the victim’s family and the police, did I agree to the plea.  Life in prison without the possibility of parole is the appropriate sentence in this case.”