CHICAGO (CBS) — A Joliet man who fatally shot his longtime girlfriend in front of their young daughter more than 15 years ago was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder.
On the morning of June 17, 2002, 45-year-old Eric Glover shot Velma Franklin in her head while she was lying in bed with their 3-year-old daughter, according to the Will County state’s attorney’s office.
Glover took off after the shooting, leaving his young daughter frightened in the bed, where she stayed until Franklin’s body was found the next morning by her other children, prosecutors said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Glover was found guilty of the murder following a seven-day bench trial, prosecutors said. He faces 45 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced on Jan. 29.
Over the course of the trial, it was revealed that Glover and Franklin had a “stormy relationship,” and that he had a history of abusing her, prosecutors said. On one occasion, Glover slammed Franklin’s head into a door frame.
Two months before killing her, Glover shot a gun over Franklin’s head while she was lying in bed, leaving a bullet in the wall, prosecutors said. The bullet was found on the day Franklin’s body was recovered. It was found to be the same caliber as the bullet that was removed from her head during an autopsy.
Franklin’s daughter told officials that her father had shot her mother, prosecutors said.
Glover was charged in 2002, but the case was dismissed by the state’s attorney’s office, prosecutors said. Jim Stewart, the former chief investigator for the state’s attorney’s office, urged Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow to review and reinstate the case in 2012. Stewart died just days before the verdict.
“This guilty verdict my prosecutors secured today is a testament to Jim Stewart’s dogged determination and his desire for justice on behalf of Velma Franklin,” Glasgow said in a statement. “This case would never have gotten another look and a cowardly murderer would still be free if Jim Stewart had not championed the cause.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)