Harvey man convicted of teen’s Woodmere murder

A Jefferson Parish jury decided Friday night (June 8) that Ivory Franklin II killed a teen as they walked along a Harvey drainage canal two years ago, firing a bullet into the back of the victim’s head before unleashing more bullets on the 15-year-old witness who ran through the murky water as he fled for his life.

Franklin, 20, of Harvey, was convicted as charged of the second-degree murder of Reginald Black, 18, who died in the early morning hours of May 5, 2016. Franklin, who was 18 years old at the time of the crime, also was convicted of the attempted second-degree murder of the 15-year-old, who was Black’s nephew and was able to escape without physical injury.

Just before 3 a.m., on the day of the homicide, the three teens were walking on the concrete embankment of the canal behind homes on Windmere Court, just south of Post Street in Harvey’s Woodmere subdivision. Black walked ahead of Franklin and didn’t see his death coming, according to evidence presented during the trial. Armed with a revolver, Franklin fired a bullet into the back of Black’s head.

“He didn’t deserve to die at age 18,” Assistant District Attorney Andrew DeCoste, who prosecuted Franklin with Lynn Schiffman, told jurors. “He didn’t deserve to be killed by this man (Franklin), who he thought was his friend. He didn’t deserve to die on a canal bank.”

After seeing the uncle whom he considered a brother shot dead, the 15-year-old boy ran, plunging into the canal to make his escape and running to the first home he saw that had lights on. He banged on the front door, pleading with the resident inside for help.

The resident refused to open the door but called 911, according to trial testimony. The boy then ran to the first Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy to arrive and, crying, rushed the officer to Black’s body, according to testimony. The revolver Franklin used has not been recovered.

They found Black lying face-down on the sloped concrete surface, his blood flowing from his head down the embankment to the canal water. Deputies later discovered a strike mark in the concrete embankment, left from one of the bullets that Franklin fired at the 15-year-old as he ran away, according to trial evidence.

In testimony Friday, Franklin denied killing Black and pointed blame to the 15-year-old, whom he said was “hyper” after smoking marijuana and involved in horseplay with a pistol. Franklin said the boy pointed the pistol at his head, and when he swatted it away, it fired, leading to Black’s death.

The Jefferson Parish jury deliberated approximately two hours Friday before delivering its verdict.

Judge Donnie Rowan of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Franklin to a mandatory life sentence in prison on Aug. 3.

Assistant District Attorneys Andrew DeCoste and Lynn Schiffman prosecuted the case.