Man accused of killing Zachary police officer, firefighter pleads not guilty to drug charges

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The man accused of killing a Zachary police officer and firefighter, Albert Franklin, was in court Tuesday, March 27 for an arraignment on drug charges. These are the very same charges for which Judge Trudy White lowered Franklin's bond without the knowledge of the District Attorney.

Franklin was arraigned on three different cases Tuesday, all of which involved drugs. He was charged as follows:

  • Case 1
    • Possession of cocaine
  • Case 2
    • Possession with the intent to distribute MDMA
    • Possession with the intent to distribute cocaine
    • Illegal carrying of a weapon with a controlled dangerous substance
    • Illegal possession of a stolen firearm
  • Case 3
    • Possession of drug paraphernalia
    • Resisting arrest

District Attorney Hillar Moore says in November of 2017, when Franklin was arrested on a slew of charges, he, nor anyone in his office, got an alert that Judge White was going to reduce his bond. "Judges can change their bonds, but normally, once there's a change like that, people are notified," said Moore.

Instead, Moore did not find out about the bond reduction until Franklin was released.

Franklin's bond was set at $88,000 for various drug and gun charges and resisting an officer. That bond was set by one of Judge White's commissioners. The very next day though, Judge White reduced the bond by $79,000, down to just $9,000.

Franklin pleaded not guilty to all of the above charges. A motions hearing is set for May 2. Franklin is also facing charges in connection with the death of Christopher Lawton, a firefighter and police officer with Zachary who was killed when Franklin reportedly ran him over with a U-Haul truck while Lawton and another officer were attempting to serve a warrant. In that case, Franklin faces a first degree murder charge, among others.

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