published Monday, August 13th, 2012

Pa. woman accused of killing fiance on wedding day

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HOKENDAUQUA, Pa. (AP) — An eastern Pennsylvania woman who was supposed to be spending her first full day as a newlywed was instead in jail Sunday, accused of killing her fiance hours before they were to get married, authorities said.

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

At her arraignment by video from jail Saturday, Franklin — apparently unable to grasp that he was dead — pleaded to the judge, "You got to check again!" according to the Morning Call newspaper in Allentown.

After District Judge Donna Butler told her that Brewster 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."

When asked if 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. He said others who were apparently going to the wedding also showed up at the building throughout the day.

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