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Memorial Day 2008 shooting in Brooksville leads to murder charge

BROOKSVILLE — A grand jury indicted a 26-year-old Spring Hill man last month for a Memorial Day 2008 fatal shooting in Brooksville, according to court documents made public Tuesday.

Franklyn Jamal Spears of 7478 Mohawk Trail faces a second-degree murder charge for the May 26 shooting of Isiah Lee Collins, 29, on a residential road near Broad Street.

The Brooksville Police Department issued an arrest warrant in September charging Spears with first-degree murder, but the grand jury determined the evidence didn't show premeditation, said Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino, the chief homicide prosecutor in Brooksville.

A Hernando County judge initially sealed the March 25 indictment because Spears was in custody at the Coleman federal prison, a medium-security facilfity in Sumter County.

Spears' sentence ended Tuesday and he was transferred to the Hernando County jail, according to federal inmate records and jail officials.

Spears — whose name is also spelled in court records as Franklin Jamaal — has a lengthy criminal record.

In August 2003, a Kentucky court sentenced him to six years in prison for cocaine trafficking.

A year later, federal authorities indicted him in Texas for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. A federal judge sentenced him to two years in prison for the marijuana charge in July 2005.

Spears was being supervised by federal authorities at the time of the Brooksville shooting.

About 20 minutes after midnight May 26, Collins was shot multiple times and died soon after arriving at Brooksville Regional Hospital.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive, but they suggested the late-night shooting was drug-related after finding drugs at the scene on Buena Vista and Roberta avenues.

They had located a red Nissan sports car with a shattered window parked at a home on W Fort Dade Avenue that they believe was involved in the shooting.

Collins lived a life on the streets and sold drugs, according to those who knew him. State records indicate he spent nine years behind bars on various charges dating to a 1995 arrest, a day after his 16th birthday.

The grand jury — a confidential panel of 15 to 21 jurors — reviewed evidence before returning its decision about 3 p.m March 25. Magrino said he could not comment on the testimony or evidence because grand jury proceedings are secret.

Assistant Public Defender Alan Fanter, who is representing Spears, declined to comment. Spears remains in the Hernando County jail with no bail.

Staff researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6114.

Memorial Day 2008 shooting in Brooksville leads to murder charge 04/14/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:21pm]
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