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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Na Cola Franklin: The Case of the Prenuptial Murder

     Billy Brewster and Na Cola Franklin lived in an apartment complex in Whitehall Township outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania with their three children. The couple was scheduled to be married at ten in the morning of Saturday, August 11, 2012. Brewster's cousin, Nakia Kali and his wife Monique had traveled to eastern Pennsylvania from Illinois to attend the wedding. They were staying in the apartment with the 36-year-old and his wife-to-be.

     Just after midnight on the morning of the wedding day, Brewster and his visitors returned to the apartment after being out for the evening. Two hours later, when Billy, Na Cola, and Nakia were in the living room, Na Cola and Billy started arguing. Monique Kali, from one of the bedrooms, heard the shouting. When she cracked the door open and looked into the living room, she saw a large blood stain on the front of Billy Brewster's shirt, and Na Cola Franklin swinging a kitchen knife. Afraid that Na Cola Franklin would attack Nakia Kali with the weapon, Monique Kali charged into the room and tackled her. Nakia Kali knocked the knife out of Na Cola's hand, and one of Franklin's children carried the bloody weapon into the kitchen.

     Billy Brewster staggered out of the apartment onto the second-story landing and collapsed. Nakia Kali called 911.

     Police officers arrived at the scene at 2:19 in the morning. Less than an hour later, Billy Brewster was pronounced dead at the Lehigh Valley Hospital. Na Cola Franklin, in custody at the Lehigh County Jail, had stabbed him twice in the heart.

     At her arraignment on the morning she was supposed to be standing at the alter getting married, Na Cola Franklin wept and said, "I did not kill him on purpose. I want my family back." The judge denied her bond.

     In May 2013, a jury in Allentown, Pennsylvania found Na Cola Franklin guilty of first-degree murder. Six weeks later,  the judge sentenced her to life in prison.

     Because Na Cola Franklin had killed the man she was within hours of marrying, this homicide attracted more attention than it would have otherwise. Aside from the wedding element, this was not an unusual case. Every year there are hundreds of homicides involving people who kill spontaneously for trivial reasons. In other words, not all murders come with a motive equal to the crime. Cases like this usually involve alcohol, drugs or mental illness. 

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