MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Jh’Isaiah Franklin, 18, appeared before Judge Jennifer Wright for a preliminary hearing Thursday morning. Out on bond, Franklin is charged with homicide by vehicle for allegedly leading officers on a pursuit until he crashed into a tree, killing passenger Kailyn Draine, 19.
In court, an investigator on the case said he could not confirm whether or not he adequately read Franklin his Miranda Rights. Draine’s mother, who said she knew everyone in the car that crashed, said she has no hard feelings toward Franklin, and says police conducting chases in residential areas is to blame for her daughter’s death.
Franklin is also facing attempt to elude from police causing death.
Detective Wilfredo Fernandez with the Mobile Police Department Traffic Homicide Unit testified. According to Fernandez, the pursuit started at the intersection of Old Shell and University Boulevard. He said officers attempted to pull Franklin over for not having a tag on the vehicle and not having a driver’s license.
Four people were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. According to testimony, Franklin lost control of the car, spun around, and struck a tree causing the vehicle to roll over.
According to investigators, the pursuit went from Old Shell and University Boulevard to University and Bear Fork Road. Hernandez says Franklin was up to speeds of 100 mph.
Franklin’s lawyer, Jason Darley, asked the prosecution about the details of the pursuit.
Fernandez says officers terminated the pursuit, but he doesn’t remember when officers did so. Fernandez also says he didn’t know when the crash occurred or the time he arrived on the scene to investigate. Fernandez was able to testify that the officers were 3 to 4 seconds behind Franklin after he crashed.
Darley says they are still trying to figure out the timeline.
“What we’re trying to figure out is when they say the pursuit started, and when they say the pursuit ended,” said Darley. “Because that’s going to be critical as to whether or not there was a bump or something that caused the accident from maybe MPD. They say they terminated it. But the officer testified they were there within seconds to three to four seconds. So that seems to be that maybe they didn’t terminate the chase.”
Draine’s mother, Kenyatta McAlpine, says the details she’s been told before the hearing are not matching what she heard today. She is concerned as to why the detective was not able to testify any information about when the crash happened, or what time officers ended the pursuit.
“I never sat in a courtroom and witnessed someone tells so many lies, ever,” said McAlpine outside the courtroom. “And this is beyond disgusting. And it’s hurtful. You know, that was my baby. She may not mean anything to anyone else. But she meant the world to me.”
“It’s is like, which one was it?” continued McAlpine. “Did you stop? Or were you still chasing them? There’s no way to arrive on the scene at the same time as you hear the call. It’s not making sense on the police report. That’s what I’m going off of. The police report said they received the call at 2:58. They were on the scene at 2:58. That’s not possible. I don’t know what kind of cars out you got in the police have in the police department. Can I get one? Because if you can make it there that fast, I need one. So I’m trying to see how is it possible for you to say that there was no dashcam, you don’t have any video, anything like that? I don’t believe it.”
Darley asked Fernandez if Franklin was adequately read his Miranda rights when he was in the hospital recovering from the crash. Fernandez could not confirm whether or not he did. Darley says if this is the case, the information Franklin said to detectives cannot be used against him.
“If evidence is taken in violation of Miranda, then it’s due to be excluded from a jury hearing it so the officer testified that he served him with a citation where there’s an officer outside the door, which means he’s not free to leave,” said Darley. “And so what goes on is then apparently, maybe some questioning occurred where Mr. Franklin made statements about the incident. And if he’s not free to leave, and he wasn’t Mirandized unless Mr. Franklin waived those statements, then you have a situation where the statement was not taken freely, knowingly, and voluntarily, under a waiver. So and plus he’s under medical care, too.”
McAlpine says her daughter had dreams of joining the Navy and attending Bishop State Community College. She says she has no hard feelings toward Franklin, and she knew all the kids who were in the car that night.
She explains how they would all come to her house and hang out, so she calls them her children as well. McAlpine says she wants transparency from the police department. She says police chases in Mobile have been a problem, causing the death of her daughter and the death of another person earlier this month.
“And it’s like traffic, why?” said McAlpine. “You’re in a residential area, you have all these houses. You not only put their lives in danger to people that was in the car, but you put the residents in danger too.”
Judge Jennifer Wright says this case has enough probable cause to go to a grand jury.