San Antonio, Texas, December 12, 2016: This afternoon, a Bexar County jury in the 290th District Court found Demond Franklin, age 31, guilty of Capital Murder. Because the State was not seeking the death penalty in this case, Franklin received an automatic Life sentence without the possibility of parole.
On October 22, 2014, Deandre Thompson and his friend, Daniel Martinez, were leaving Thompson’s apartment in the 13000 block of O’Connor Road when two men busted through the door and began shooting. Thompson was shot four times and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Thompson’s mother and 11-year-old sister were at the apartment during the shooting, but were not injured during the incident. Witnesses said the shooter attempted to shoot the victim’s mother as well, but the gun jammed. The suspects left the location with the victim’s property. After the shooting, Martinez was interviewed by San Antonio police detectives and at first claimed he was a victim in the incident. He said the suspects barged into the apartment and hit and kicked him, before shooting Thompson. Two weeks later because SAPD detectives were suspicious of Martinez’ story, they re-interviewed him.
Martinez confessed that he had a part in the set up that killed his friend and led investigators to the other co-defendants, Demond Franklin and Ryan Hardwick. Martinez admitted that while inside the apartment with the victim, he was texting the co-defendants information about money and drugs. He said the plan was to rob the victim. During the trial, prosecutors entered into evidence Franklin’s cell phone records which placed him at the crime scene. Co-defendants Martinez and Hardwick testified against Franklin, and stated Demond was the shooter. In exchange for their testimony, Martinez and Hardwick accepted plea deals and are scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.
Capital Murder is a felony, punishable by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Assistant District Attorneys Kristina Escalona and David Martin from the Criminal Trial Division prosecuted the case against Franklin in the 290th District Court.