Laurel man found unfit to stand trial for murder of co-worker

Laurel man found unfit to stand trial for murder of co-worker
Authorities say on April 7, Raffell Franklin shot and killed his co-worker, Eddie Davis, outside of Peco Foods, Inc. in Bay Springs.

BAY SPRINGS, MS (WDAM) - A mental evaluation by doctors with the Mississippi State Hospital found that a Laurel man is incompetent to stand trial in the 2017 murder of a Louin man. Authorities say on April 7, Raffell Franklin shot and killed his co-worker, Eddie Davis, outside of Peco Foods, Inc. in Bay Springs.

Davis was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy report showed that he was shot five times--- two in the buttocks, two in the abdomen and one in the heart.

WDAM-TV previously reported that witnesses told police that Franklin, of Laurel, began shooting at Davis while he was in his car just before 8 a.m. inside the gates of the poultry company in the back parking lot.

A grand jury indicted Franklin on a two-count indictment with charges of first degree murder and shooting into a motor vehicle on Aug. 13, 2018. Jasper County district attorney, Matthew Sullivan, says Franklin had a competency hearing on March 4. Franklin’s defense attorney ordered the mental evaluation.

“The circuit court judge (Eddie Bowen) reviewed the findings of medical experts with the Mississippi state hospital,” said Sullivan of the evaluation. “The judge affirmed Raffell Franklin was incompetent to stand trial and the judge ordered that he be further evaluated by the state hospital.”

Sullivan says the case is still ongoing since there are no statue of limitations on murder in Mississippi.

“Should Raffell Franklin ever be restored to competency, my office can then proceed by law with prosecution and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected,” he said.

Peco Food, Inc. issued the following statement at the time of the shooting:

“This morning an incident occurred between two of our employees in the parking lot of our Bay Spring location. We are fully cooperating with the authorities in the ongoing and active investigation. Our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of the employees involved.”

Franklin remains in the Jasper County Jail. According to Jasper County Sheriff Randy Johnson, he will stay there until they are notified of an opening for him at the Mississippi State Hospital.

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