Jurors in McPherson County brought back a not guilty verdict today in the second-degree murder trial of ex-McPherson College football player Alton Franklin, who stood accused of killing Tabor College football player Brandon Brown last September in at a house party in McPherson. Brown died of trauma to the head — witnesses said Franklin sucker-punched him and then hit him while he was on the ground.
Another Ex-McPherson College football player, DeQuinte Flournoy, was also charged with second-degree murder, but he pleaded down to aggravated battery in exchange for his testimony.
Jurors also had the option of finding Franklin guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
The verdict is a high-profile defeat for McPherson County Attorney David Page and a black eye for the McPherson Police Department, who were heard on videotape laughing and joking as Brown lay unconscious in the front yard of the house party.
Some questions I have from the trial: