Judge: Toddler’s statements can be used against accused killer
BY JANET LUNDQUIST email@example.com August 16, 2013 9:46PM
Updated: September 19, 2013 10:10AM
Prosecutors will be allowed to use the videotaped statements of a toddler who allegedly witnessed her mother’s 2002 murder when they try the man accused of the slaying.
Will County Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes decided this week that the 3-year-old’s videotaped interview can be used as evidence during the murder trial for Eric K. Glover.
Glover is accused of shooting Velma Franklin, 30, once in the head in her Joliet home on June 17, 2002.
Defense attorneys wanted to bar the video, and pointed out that there was no hearing held at the time of the interview to determine whether the girl was competent to testify.
During a 2009 follow-up interview with Franklin’s daughter, defense attorneys said the girl said she did not remember the 2002 interview, nor did she remember what happened the day her mother was killed.
A counselor at the Will County Child Advocacy Center interviewed the girl in 2002, about a month after Franklin was killed.
In the video, which was played in court during a hearing on the issue, the 3-year-old girl colored while she answered questions about the incident, matter-of-factly telling the interviewer that “her brain came out.”
Prosecutors believe she would know because she was lying in bed next to Franklin when the shooting occurred more than a decade ago.
“Who lives in your house?” the interviewer asked the girl.
“Not my momma. She’s dead,” the girl said. “My daddy shot her with a gun in the night.”
Glover, whose potential paternity has not been established, was charged four days later with Franklin’s murder. He was released from jail in February 2003, after the case against him was dismissed by the state’s attorney’s office.
Prosecutors said they dropped the charges temporarily because they needed more time to review the evidence.
The charges were re-filed in 2012 after State‘s Attorney Jim Glasgow ordered a review of cold cases.
In 2003, Glover’s attorney said Glover was not at the house the night of the murder, that he and Franklin had argued and he spent the night on a friend’s couch after she locked him out.
Franklin’s other children, who were 11 and 7 at the time, also were in the house in the 600 block of Third Avenue when their mother was killed. Prosecutors say they found their mother’s body — and their little sister in bed with her — about 9 a.m. that day.
Prosecutors say they plan to call the girl, now 14, to testify at Glover’s trial, and that they expect her to say he was the one who killed her mother.
Glover has been in prison since 2011, serving a seven-year sentence at Stateville Correctional Center on an armed habitual criminal charge.
Glover is scheduled to appear in Will County court Oct. 15.