published Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Woman accused of stabbing fiance to death on wedding day

HOKENDAUQUA, Pa. — An eastern Pennsylvania woman who was supposed to be spending her first full day as a newlywed was instead in jail Sunday, charged with stabbing her fiance to death hours before they were to get married, authorities said.

Na Cola Darcel Franklin, 31, was charged with criminal homicide in the death early Saturday of Billy Rafeal Brewster, 36, in their Whitehall Township apartment.

At her arraignment by video Saturday from Lehigh County Prison, The (Allentown) Morning Call reported, Franklin — apparently unable to grasp that he was dead — pleaded to the judge "You got to check again!"

Told by District Judge Donna Butler that he had been pronounced dead earlier, Franklin wailed and covered her face in her hands.

"I want my family back," she said, rocking gently back and forth. "I want to go home."

Asked whether she understood the homicide charge, Franklin wept and choked out the words one at a time.

"I ... did ... not ... kill ... him ... on ... purpose," she said, according to the newspaper.

Franklin and Brewster were to be married at 10 a.m. Saturday, but police said they were called to the apartment shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday and found Brewster bleeding from the torso as he lay on the landing outside his apartment. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later at a hospital, District Attorney Jim Martin said.

The Lehigh County coroner's office said a preliminary investigation revealed two stab wounds that resulted in a punctured heart.

Neighbor Steve Engel said the pastor who was supposed to perform the ceremony came to the building after not being able to reach the couple, and a number of people who were apparently going to the wedding also showed up at the building throughout the day.

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