Man who killed his mother for nagging him about getting a job sentenced to 86 years

March 24, 2014

Franklin T. Byrd

Franklin T. Byrd

Online Staff Report

Franklin T. Byrd, 30, of Rockford, has been sentenced to 86 years for the May 2009 armed robbery and murder of his mother, Leslie Byrd.

May 22, 2009, Rockford police were called to a home at 1219 Greenwood. Leslie Byrd called 911 for help, and dispatchers could hear her crying and moaning. Then, they could hear a man in the background yelling about money.

When officers arrived at the home, they heard at least three gunshots. Then, Franklin Byrd emerged from the residence with his hands up.

Franklin Byrd was given his Miranda rights, waived those rights, and agreed to speak to officers. Investigators said Franklin admitted to shooting his mother several times because she was nagging him about getting a job.

When he was arrested, Franklin Byrd had his mother’s jewelry on him, as well as about $30 he admitted to taking from her purse after he killed her.

An autopsy showed Leslie Byrd died from multiple gunshot wounds, but she’d also been stabbed several times in the stomach.

Police recovered several shell casings, spent bullets, an assault rifle and a .45-caliber handgun inside the Byrds’ home after the shooting.

Franklin Byrd was sentenced to 55 years for the offense of first-degree murder and received a consecutive sentence of 31 years for the offense of armed robbery.

The first-degree murder sentence must be served at 100 percent. The armed robbery sentence is served at 85 percent.

Byrd was found guilty but mentally ill for first-degree murder and armed robbery after a jury trial Oct. 3, 2013.

First-degree murder is a Class M felony that has a sentencing range of 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The penalty range is enhanced to 45 years to natural life when the defendant personally discharges a firearm that proximately causes death. Armed robbery is a Class X felony that has a sentencing range of six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  However, the defendant’s sentence is enhanced to 31 years to natural life because the jury found he personally discharged a firearm that proximately caused great bodily harm or death.

Posted March 24, 2014

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