Lantern Lit on 9/19/16-9/26/16 for Mannix Franklin Jr, age 21, Milwaukee, and Richard Flynn, age 42, Wisconsin Rapids
Lantern Project: Since October 2013, Hope House has joined with other domestic violence programs around the state by implementing the Lantern Project. For our part in this statewide project, we added to the lamppost in front of Hope House a purple wreath. We will turn on the light for a week every time there is a death related to domestic violence in Wisconsin. We will post information online about the person(s) that was killed. If you drive by our building and see our lamppost on, please reflect on the deadly impact that domestic violence has on our communities. We know the list of stories we post here is incomplete. We strive to learn about and share these stories but know that there are some that we and the media miss. If you see a news story of a death in WI related to domestic violence and don't see it posted here, please feel free to let us know about it here. Thank you.
Hope House would like to express our apologies that we have not posted for the lantern project since June. Rainbow House, a domestic violence shelter serving a three-county area in North East Wisconsin has taken on the project of tracking the domestic violence death toll in Wisconsin. Their Domestic Violence Homicide Response Team undertook this project in response to an unmet need. Hope House will now be referring to their website for our lantern project. Please take the time to review their in-depth site here to see the list of deaths related to domestic violence in Wisconsin for 2016, including those that took place this summer that we missed.
Our lantern is currently on for the most recent deaths, Mannix Franklin Jr. and Richard Flynn:
Mannix Franklin Jr, age 21, Milwaukee
Fox 6 Now: MILWAUKEE --A young man was shot and killed late Monday, September 12th at a senior living complex in the neighborhood near 50th and Bradley in Brown Deer. It's not the first loss for the man's family.
Family members tell FOX6 News, 21-year-old Mannix Franklin Jr. was visiting his mother who lives in the senior living complex. The mother says her son was gathering with some of his friends and that's when a 61-year-old who lives in an apartment nearby shot her son in the abdomen.
The 61-year-old is in custody.
Brown Deer police are not giving a motive or any information about this case.
A 61-year-old man has been charged with homicide in the shotgun slaying Monday of a man at a seniors apartment facility in Brown Deer.
Jessie James told police the victim, Mannix Franklin, 21, had been staying with James and Franklin’s mother at the older couple’s Algonquin Manor apartment. Upon returning home from work about 6 p.m. Monday, James told police, Mannix Franklin began arguing with his mother and wouldn’t listen to James’ demands that he leave the apartment.
Finally, James got a shotgun, loaded it with one shell and pointed it at Franklin and demanded again that he leave the residence.
“Mannix said ‘You ain’t gonna do a damn thing, Jessie’ or words to that effect,” according to the complaint, prompting James to pull the trigger from about seven feet away. He told police he felt he was being disrespected in his own house.
James faces up to 65 years in prison if convicted of first-degree reckless homicide by use of a dangerous weapon.
In 2003 Franklin’s father, Mannix Franklin Sr., 31, was fatally shot by a Milwaukee police officer after Franklin’s mother called police to report a domestic disturbance.
According to police, Franklin Sr. was shot after he placed a hand inside his jacket, refused commands to take it out and made a motion as though he was retrieving something.
Franklin Sr. was unarmed, however an inquest jury later determined the that the shooting was justified.
Richard Flynn, age 42, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:
GRAND RAPIDS - Friends of a 42-year-old Saratoga man who was fatally shot Thursday are mourning his loss.
Richard M. Flynn died early Thursday after police found him with gunshot wounds outside a Grand Rapids residence.
"He had the biggest heart you could ever imagine," said Traci Campion of Montello.
Campion, who visited the shooting scene Thursday, said Flynn was like a brother to her. Their friendship went back 20 years and through difficult times, such as when Campion's son died.
"He'd be there for you for anything," Campion said of Flynn. "He was my one call. I've lost my one call."
Flynn may have moved recently to Saratoga from Jefferson, a city between Madison and Milwaukee, according to public records. He worked in construction and built houses for much of his life, said Curtis Peplinski, who said he was best friends with Flynn since they were teenagers.
Court records shed some light on what police believe may have led to Flynn's death.
A woman called 911 just before 1 a.m. Thursday reporting that Flynn was on her back porch in the 4700 block of 78th Street South with gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen areas, according to court records. Flynn was then flown to a Marshfield hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:26 a.m.
Preliminary autopsy results confirmed Flynn died of gunshot wounds, according to Grand Rapids Police Chief Melvin Pedersen.
To his friends, Flynn's death does not square with how he lived: Peplinski said Flynn was always willing to lend a hand, such as when he helped Peplinski repair his old home in southern Wisconsin.
In fact, it was inside the home where Flynn found his most meaningful role, Peplinski said.
"Most importantly," Peplinski said, Flynn was “a loving father of five girls."
Police arrested Mark A. Kusters, 58, Grand Rapids, on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide early Thursday in connection with Flynn's death; police found a shotgun and shells on Kusters' kitchen table when they arrested him. Investigators believe Flynn was having an affair with Kusters' wife, and that Kusters saw Flynn looking through a window of their home, also on 78th Street South.
Kusters remains in custody on a $1 million cash bond set Thursday by Wood County Circuit Judge Greg Potter. Potter scheduled a status conference on the case for Monday.
Grand Rapids officers are working with the Wood County District Attorney's Office Friday to get reports done and process evidence collected at the scene Thursday, Pedersen said. Officers will go through the evidence and determine what needs to go to the Wisconsin Crime Lab for analysis, Pedersen said.
Grand Rapids has few homicide cases, and the town is a great community, Pedersen said. When Pedersen started making phone calls after the shooting was reported, every member of his department responded to the scene, he said. Town road crews also responded to help put up barricades.
"Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, there is all too much of this going on," Pedersen said. "When it does happen, it's great to have the dedicated crew that are willing to step up."