Man faces sentence of natural life after being found guilty of 2006 murder
Online Staff Report
Franklin D. Lofton, 27, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder after a jury trial Nov. 7 in front of Judge John Truitt.
On the evening of May 23, 2006, Tyrone Dowthard, 35, was visiting a family member on West Jefferson Street in Rockford. The family member told detectives she had been sitting on the porch with Tyrone and a friend. She had gone into the house to close windows, and was about to come back onto the porch through the open porch door when she saw a small-framed black man pointing a silver handgun at Tyrone. Tyrone was at his vehicle, which was parked in the driveway. She told officers she could hear the man tell Tyrone to “stick your hands up.” She saw Tyrone kind of laugh. The man then said, “You heard what I said,” and the man shot Tyrone and then fled.
The family member was shown a photo lineup June 4, 2007. From that lineup, she picked out Franklin Lofton as the person she saw shoot Tyrone Dowthard.
In addition, Franklin Lofton made statements to other individuals admitting he shot Dowthard during a failed robbery. Furthermore, these individuals indicated Franklin Lofton possessed a silver handgun on the night of this murder.
Lofton was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder with the additional allegation that he discharged a firearm that proximately caused death to Dowthard.
These charges carry a sentence of 45 years to natural life. However, based upon a previous murder conviction, the defendant faces mandatory natural life. He was also found guilty of attempt armed robbery, which carries a sentence of four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Lofton was previously convicted of the 2007 murder of Wilber Harndin and is serving a 75-year sentence for that offense. The sentencing range is mandatory natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Dec. 14, in Courtroom 314 in front of Judge Truitt.
Posted Nov. 9, 2012
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