A District man who admitted to stabbing his teenage daughter to death and dumping her body in a trash bin after a two-year sexual relationship with her was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday by a judge who said Rodney McIntyre acted with a “depraved heart.”
McIntyre, 45, showed little reaction as D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz recounted his incestuous — and, ultimately, deadly — history with Ebony Franklin, 17. “You betrayed the bond a father should have with his child,” Leibovitz said.
Three days after her death on Nov. 26, Franklin’s body was found in an alley behind the gym in the 1000 block of Fairmont Street NW, where McIntyre worked. She had 15 stab wounds to her chest, side and back.
McIntyre pleaded guilty in July to first-degree, premeditated murder while armed.
Before being sentenced, McIntyre turned to the rows of family who packed the courtroom and tried to offer an explanation. “I blacked out,” he said. “I’m deeply sorry for the pain and suffering. I’m sorry for taking the life of my daughter. I robbed her of her childhood.”
When McIntyre began to speak, Ebony’s mother walked out of the courtroom.
McIntyre’s attorney, Elizabeth Mullin of the District’s Public Defender Service, said he was on medication for depression and irritability a month before Franklin’s slaying but had not taken his medication the day of his daughter’s death.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Jocelyn S. Ballantine said McIntyre was “obsessive” and “jealous,” leading him to murder.
McIntyre believed his daughter was “seeing” other men, according to Ballantine, who said Franklin was dating a teenage boy when she was killed. A photograph obtained by The Washington Post shows the boy’s name etched into her red, manicured fingernails over a small, white heart.
“Ebony Franklin was a beautiful young woman — vivacious, spirited, a dancer who had plans for her future,” Ballantine said. “She had dreams. Mr. McIntyre killed his daughter because he couldn’t control her.”
Ballantine said McIntyre and his daughter were estranged during the early part her life, when he was in jail and Franklin lived with her mother in Maryland. When McIntyre was released in 2008, Franklin — then 15 — sought him out. A short time later, McIntyre initiated a sexual relationship with his daughter, during which he regularly showered her with money and clothes.
Ebony’s mother, fearing McIntyre’s jealous rages, tried to keep them apart, Ballantine said. But on Nov. 26, Franklin and McIntyre had plans to meet for Christmas shopping in Columbia Heights. Franklin’s stepfather dropped her off to meet McIntyre. She was killed that day.
Authorities said McIntyre tried to make it look as if someone else had killed Franklin. He filed a missing persons report with police and, after her slaying, used her cellphone to send a number of text messages, including one to Franklin’s mother that read, “Remember the bitch told on my man now yoo get her out the trash.”