The mother of a 19-month-old boy who was allegedly murdered last summer by her then-boyfriend said Monday she believes the suspect is a “monster” who is “wired wrong” and planned to abuse her son.
Speaking out in a Monday interview on Dr. Phil, Roxanne Randall says Dr. Bert Franklin, her ex and a married father of four, saw her child as an impediment to their relationship.
“I think it was planned,” Randall said. “He wanted to have a baby. A month before, he had asked. I told him maybe years down the road, when we’re married. He wasn’t super pleased with that answer, and he never brought it up again.”
Randall said her son, Lincoln Lewis — whom Franklin is accused of killing — “required a lot of my attention.”
“He was with me day in and day out,” Randall told host Phil McGraw.
Franklin, she said, “cared about [Lincoln] until he got in his way, until he became an obstacle. In his mind, he thought: Remove it and carry on.”
Franklin has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Lincoln’s July 18 death, court records show. He allegedly dropped the toddler on his head and then kicked him on July 16, police have said.
Franklin has pleaded not guilty and remains in custody without bond, according to records. His attorneys did not return a message seeking comment.
Part of the alleged abuse was captured by a home surveillance camera, though the footage does not show the entire incident. Franklin’s defense has said he was kicking a dog.
After allegedly kicking the child, Franklin can be seen in the footage cradling Lincoln, who appears limp, and eating a slice of pizza.
Randall was home, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the time, but told investigators she was upstairs.
She said she ran downstairs when she heard a loud thud, but Franklin allegedly told her he was throwing a ball to the dog and her son was fast asleep.
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According to medical examiners, Lincoln — who was born three months premature — suffered a skull fracture as well as brain bleeding.
His mother said knew something was wrong after the alleged incident, when Lincoln, his eyes wide open, started gurgling and having trouble breathing.
She awoke at 2 a.m. “I thought Lincoln was coughing,” she said on Dr. Phil. “I woke up, and I just remember instantly thinking, ‘Oh, I knew it’ — he was sick.”
Randall said she went to the kitchen to get Lincoln some medicine and his bottle, and when she returned the toddler was “gurgling.”
She grabbed him and “his body was limp,” she remembered. “So I yelled at [Franklin] to call 911, and he stood up at the other side of the bed and just stared at me.”
Randall said that the last time they spoke, Franklin denied having anything to do with Lincoln’s death. He was arrested days later.
She was in love with Franklin, she said — was ready to marry him — and had been falsely led to believe he was legally separated from his wife.
“He told a friend that the only common link between me and Lincoln’s dad was Lincoln,” she said on Dr. Phil, “and that every time he looked at Lincoln, he saw [my ex].”
Randall said she has not been able to mourn her son’s death.
“I worry mainly about my [other] kids moving past this in a healthy manner,” she said. “I don’t want it to effect them long-term.”