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Wedding day stabbing: Pennsylvania woman accused of killing fiance

A Pennsylvania woman is accused of fatally stabbing her husband-to-be just hours before they were scheduled to be married.

Na Cola Darcel Franklin, 31, is facing homicide charges in the death of her husband-to-be, Billy Rafael Brewster, 36, in the apartment they shared in Whitehall Township, according to the Whitehall Township Police Department.

But, according to the Morning Call newspaper, Franklin did not realize her fiance was dead when she came before a judge that same day. The newspaper reported that Franklin stood mute, and seemingly stunned, when a judge told her she was being charged with a single count of homicide.

“You got to check again!” Franklin cried out during the Saturday afternoon court hearing, begging the judge to check once more on Brewster’s condition, according to the newspaper.

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“He was pronounced dead by the Lehigh County coroner earlier today,” District Judge Donna Butler was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said Franklin began wailing and rocking, and choked out the words: “I ... did ... not ... kill ... him ... on ... purpose,” she said. “I want my family back. ... I want to go home.”

The judge said that wasn’t one of Franklin’s options: “You are not going home any time in the near future.”

It was not immediately clear what led up to the stabbing, which took place about 2:19 a.m. Saturday morning, according to a media statement released by police. The couple were supposed to be married at 10 a.m.

Relatives staying with the couple told police that Brewster had announced plans to go out and grab some food for the crowd when an argument ensued, authorities said.

Then, police said, Monique Kali of Illinois, who was among those visiting for the wedding, said she heard someone yell “Knife!” Kali told police she saw Franklin swinging a knife. Fearing that her husband might be injured, Kali told police, she tackled Franklin, who was then disarmed.

In the meantime, a bleeding Brewster stumbled out onto the walkway outside the apartment and was found there when police arrived, authorities said. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Among his injuries: A stab wound to the heart, police said.

A neighbor told the newspaper that the pastor who was supposed to marry the couple showed up at the apartment complex Saturday morning looking for the bride and groom after they failed to show up for the ceremony.

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ and Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com


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