An armed Beltsville man, arrested late Sunday when police rushed into his home after failing to flush him out with tear gas, was charged yesterday with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his former girlfriend, Prince George's County police reported.
Milton B. Franklin, 39, of 4809 Lincoln Ave. was charged in the death of Linda Sue Wood, 29, of Upper Marlboro, whose body was found sprawled on the floor of a basement room in Franklin's home at 4809 Lincoln Ave., police said. They said Franklin was found huddled in another small basement room.
County police spokesman Robert Law said the shooting apparently occurred earlier Sunday before Franklin phoned his mother in Youngsville, N.C., and a brother in Henderson, N.C., and said he was "in big trouble."
Vernon Scarboro, police chief in Youngsville, said yesterday that Franklin's mother called him about 7 p.m. Sunday to report her son's call.
"She said he called her about 5 p.m. and said he had killed his girlfriend and was going to kill himself," Scarboro said. "Then he told her he loved her and hung up."
Franklin's mother, Mary Franklin, called Scarboro after trying several times to call her son back, Scarboro said, but getting no answer. Scarboro then called Prince George's police.
County police arrived at Franklin's house about 7:20 p.m., Law said, as Franklin's brother, Thomas Franklin, was coming out the front door. Thomas Franklin had driven to Beltsville from North Carolina after Milton Franklin called him about 2 p.m. Sunday, Law said.
Thomas Franklin told police that his brother was behind the front door with a loaded rifle and that a woman was sprawled on the kitchen floor, apparently dead. The woman, police said later, had been shot five times in the upper body with a small handgun.
"They had apparently broken up about two months ago but were still on some kind of speaking terms," Law said.
Capt. Robert Phillips, commander of the county police special operations division, said police tried to talk Milton Franklin out of the house for about 3 1/2 hours, but Franklin would not answer his telephone and did not respond to pleas to surrender made over a loudspeaker.
About 11 p.m., Phillips said, police fired tear gas through a window on the ground floor. Officers rushed the house an hour later after Franklin did not come outside, he said.
Phillips said Franklin was slightly injured when police shot him once in the chest with a "rubberized bullet" as he resisted police efforts to handcuff him during the arrest. Franklin was treated at Prince George's General Hospital and is being held without bond at the county jail.