Warrants: Wake woman got $1M insurance policy on husband in alleged murder plot
Posted November 16, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — A Wake County woman charged with conspiring with her son to kill her husband last month took out a $1 million life insurance policy on him a few months ago, according to search warrants released Monday.
Tammy Franklin, 45, and Steven Donald Franklin, 23, both of 6825 Greywalls Lane, were charged last week with felony conspiracy. Steven Franklin also is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, while Tammy Franklin is charged with intimidating a state's witness, communicating threats and accessory after the fact of a felony.
Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Steven Franklin attacked his father, Donald Webster Franklin, with a 4-inch paring knife in the Greywalls Lane home on Oct. 31. Donald Franklin escaped with only cuts on one hand.
Donald Franklin told deputies that his son first tried to push him down a flight of stairs, where a "spiked rake" had been placed at the bottom, according to the warrants. When Donald Franklin was able to break his fall, his son yelled, "You won't get away from me this time," and ran at him with the paring knife, the warrants state.
Investigators later determined that Tammy Franklin had obtained the life insurance policy on her husband in May, and the policy took effect on Aug. 1. According to the warrants, she lied to investigators, saying both she and her husband obtained the extra life insurance in March.
Tammy Franklin also admitted to investigators that she had diverted her husband's paycheck into a bank account she controlled, and she couldn't explain two earlier instances where Donald Franklin said he thought his son was trying to kill him, according to the warrants.
On one occasion, as Donald Franklin was about to leave for work, Steven Franklin walked up behind him with a leather belt "looped like a noose," but Tammy Franklin told their son, "Not now, Stephen. Let's take him to work," the warrant states. On another occasion, Stephen Franklin rushed his father as if trying to attack him when his mother told him, "Not now, Stephen. Not yet," the warrant states.
After the Oct. 31 assault, authorities said, Tammy Franklin instructed her son to hide out at her parents' home in Haywood County, and she also threatened to kill her husband if he didn't drop the assault charge against Stephen Franklin.
Investigators searched the family's home, seizing documents, computers, cellphones, a safe and other items. They also searched a Cadillac Escalade, a Chevrolet Camaro, and iPad and two iPhones for evidence. According to the search warrant, Tammy Franklin tried to wipe information from her iPhone remotely before investigators could examine it.
Family members claim Donald Franklin abused them for years and that he concocted the Oct. 31 assault as a way to get even with his wife, who has separated from him.
Stephen Franklin and Tammy Franklin remain in the Wake County jail under $1 million bonds.