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Saturday, July 28, 2018

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 an undetermined period. 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's shirt, and Na Cola swinging a kitchen knife. Afraid that Na Cola Franklin would attack Naki with the weapon, Monique charged into the room and tackled her. Nakia 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. His cousin called 911.

     Police officers arrived at the scene at 2:19 AM. Less than an hour later, Billy Brewster was pronounced dead at the Lehigh Valley Hospital. Na Cola, 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 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 has attracted more attention than it would have otherwise. Aside from the wedding element, this is not an unusual case. Every year there are hundreds of homicides involving people who kill spontaneously for trivial reasons. Not all murders come with a motive equal to the crime. Cases like this usually involve alcohol, drugs or mental illness. Weddings alone can make people do crazy things.

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