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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Fatally stabbed her fiancé on their wedding day
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 11, 2012
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1981
Victim profile: Billy Brewster, 36 (her fiancé)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on July 16, 2013
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Na Cola Franklin to serve life sentence for murder of fiancé, Billy Brewster, on wedding day

By Will Lewis -

July 16, 2013

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Lehigh County woman, convicted of killing her fiancé' on their wedding day, said she never meant for it to happen.

Na Cola Franklin uttered those words right before she was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday. A tearful Franklin apologized to the family of Billy Brewster.

Brewster's mother told the judge it's a sad case because her son was killed by the woman he loved.

John Waldron, Franklin's attorney, knew the sentence would be life in prison for his client, as mandated by Pennsylvania law, although he said he felt the first degree murder charge may be too harsh.

"I've been doing this for a long time, and this particular conviction is upsetting because going into this I thought it was a manslaughter case," said Waldron. "I did not think it was a murder one case."

Franklin and Brewster got into an argument inside their apartment in Whitehall Township early on the morning of Aug. 11, 2012. As things escalated, Franklin stabbed Brewster in the chest, killing him.

The defense said Franklin had not slept in three to four days because she was preparing for the couple's wedding.

The prosecution painted a different picture and used 911 tapes to prove its point, a call defense attorney Waldron felt hurt his client.

"She said things like, 'You're going to die tonight,' or 'I'm going to kill you,' things like that," added Waldron.

In the courtroom, Brewster's mother told the judge her son wanted his family to live in a safe neighborhood.

Barbara Obas went on to say that who knew the danger Brewster was trying to protect his family from was in his own bed.

"We're going to file an appeal and see if maybe we can convince another court that it was a manslaughter case and not a murder in the first degree case," said Waldron.

Brewster's mother, with tears in her eyes, told 69 News after the hearing, "We got justice."


Na Cola Franklin Guilty Of Murdering Fiance Hours Before Wedding

May 26, 2013

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — An eastern Pennsylvania woman who fatally stabbed her fiance on their wedding day – and then apparently could not comprehend that he had died – was convicted of first-degree murder on Thursday.

Jurors found Na Cola Franklin, 32, guilty after deliberating about three hours in Lehigh County Court. She could get life in prison when she is sentenced July 16. Her attorney said an appeal is likely.

Prosecutors say Franklin and 36-year-old Billy Brewster got into the deadly argument on Aug. 11 around 2 a.m. in their Whitehall Township apartment. They were scheduled to be married at 10 a.m. in neighboring Allentown.

At her arraignment that night, Franklin appeared distraught and confused to learn Brewster was dead, telling the judge, “You got to check again!”

Defense attorney John Waldron told jurors during the trial this week that Brewster had come home drunk that night after an impromptu bachelor party. Brewster attacked Franklin and then tried to leave with the couple’s 9-month-old son, Waldron said.

Waldron argued Franklin killed the groom-to-be after grabbing a knife to protect her child. He had pushed for a voluntary manslaughter conviction, which carries a lighter sentence.

But prosecutors, who said the child was not in danger, sought a first-degree murder conviction. First Assistant District Attorney Steven Luksa said Thursday that he hopes the verdict will bring some comfort to Brewster’s family, according to the Express-Times of Easton.

On the day of the planned wedding, neighbor Steve Engel said the pastor who was supposed to marry the couple came looking for them at the apartment building. Distraught people in suits and dresses – presumably ceremony guests – then began showing up throughout the day, Engel said.


Jury hears from witnesses of wedding day homicide in Whitehall

Na Cola Franklin on trial in deadly stabbing of fiancé, Billy Brewster

By Bob Koltnow -

May 22, 2013

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - How could a wedding day go so horribly wrong? The groom, Billy Brewster, was stabbed to death in Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co.; his wife-to-be, Na Cola Franklin, stands accused of the crime.

Franklin was on trial for the second day Wednesday, with the jury hearing about the day it went down last year.

The jury on Tuesday heard a 911 call in which Franklin said Brewster, her fiancé, was drunk and was going to steal their baby.

The jury Wednesday heard from the two people who were inside the apartment the morning of the homicide.

Shortly after Franklin walked into the courtroom, she heard from the two people who were inside her apartment the morning she allegedly stabbed Brewster to death.

Brewster's cousin and his wife flew in from Chicago to testify about how the three visited a strip club on Aug. 10.

Brewster and Franklin got into a heated argument, with Franklin pulling a knife and stabbing Brewster three times in the couple's living room.

Nakia Kali testified he saw his cousin put his hands up in the air, asking Franklin, "is this really what you want to do?"

Kali's wife, Monique, testified that, after Franklin stabbed Brewster, she tackled the woman until Kali could take away the knife.

The mayhem happened around 3 a.m. and with three small children and an infant inside the room. The couple was supposed to be married several hours later.

The defense questioned how much the pair had to drink at the strip club and asked the two if they knew of the two 911 calls made and why Brewster's statement wasn't picked up in the 911 call, which did get Franklin telling Brewster he was drunk, accusing him of wanting to drive off with the couple's baby, and threatening him.

In a second call, Franklin told the operator Brewster had just beaten her up and stole her baby.

A forensic pathologist testified Brewster was stabbed twice. A Lehigh County investigator said, when interviewed after the scene, Franklin broke down crying, saying she didn't mean it and still wanted to marry Brewster.


Victim's mother reacts to wedding day killing of son in Whitehall

By John Craven -

August 30, 2012

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - An argument over sandwiches and a wedding dress may have led to a bizarre wedding day killing over the weekend, according to the victim's mother.

A woman stabbed her fiancé to death in Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co., on Saturday, just hours before their wedding, police said.

Victim Billy Brewster's mother spoke exclusively to 69 News Monday afternoon.

The story is so unusual it has now made national news, but for Barbara Obas, it is personal. One of the happiest days in her life became her darkest.

"We came for a wedding, and we're burying Billy on Thursday morning," she said.

Obas said she didn't even know her son, Billy Brewster, was dead until she arrived at his Olympic Circle apartment for his wedding.

His fiancée, Na Cola Franklin, was charged with criminal homicide.

"My [other] son went up and saw the tape," said Obas. "We thought that there was an accident or maybe an intruder had came in."

According to court papers, Franklin got into an argument with her fiancé as he was about to leave to pick up food. That's when relatives told police that Franklin, 31, pulled out a knife and stabbed Brewster, 36, twice.

Authorities have not released a possible motive, but Brewster's mother told 69 News the fight was over trivial matters.

"The dress and eating sandwiches, and I think she was very nervous that everything wouldn't be perfect. Her hair wasn't right," said Obas. "Just women stuff. It was nothing violent; it was just things that wouldn't have made a bit of difference."

Neighbors on Saturday said the couple was friendly and never fought.

"Never, never [any sign of trouble]," said neighbor Steve Engel. "Very, very nice people. Always said hello. Very polite, very friendly."

Court records show neither Franklin nor Brewster appears to have a criminal record, and there are no protection orders on file for either of them.

"There's never been a police report about them or any type of violence," said Obas.

At her arraignment Saturday, Franklin appeared dazed, even asking the judge to check to make sure her fiancé was actually dead.

Obas is now looking for closure.

"Pray, trust God, and no matter what, don't resort to violence," she said.

Brewster was a truck driver, according to his mother. He will be buried Thursday in his hometown of Berwick, Pa.

Relatives are now caring for his two children, plus Franklin's child from a previous relationship, who police said were home when the stabbing happened.


Bride-To-Be-Stabs Groom In The Heart 8 Hours Before Their Wedding

By Terrell Jermaine Starr -

August 14, 2012

Na Cola Darcel Franklin was only eight hours away from marrying the man with whom she had planned to spend the rest of her life. But, around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, she killed him.

Franklin and the late groom-to-be, Billy Rafael Brewster, reportedly got into an argument that turned fatal in their apartment in Whitehall Township, PA., where they had been living for a year, according to The Express-Times.

Brewster’s cousin Nakia Kali and his wife, Monique Kali, traveled from Illinois and were staying with the couple at the time of the fatal attack. Four children were also present in the home. It is not exactly clear what exactly sparked the fatal confrontation between Franklin and Brewster. And different media reports give inconclusive accounts of when the knife was drawn or from where it came.

The Express Times reports that Monique Kali heard someone yell “knife” during the argument. She and her husband were in their bedroom at the time. When Monique left the room to see what was going on, she noticed blood on the side of Brewster’s shirt. She reportedly stood between Brewster and Franklin while her husband shouted for the groom to leave the apartment. Monique then tackled Franklin, dislodging the knife. One of the children in the apartment reportedly took the knife to the kitchen.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Brewster on the second-floor landing of the apartment complex. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:24 a.m. The cause of death was a stab wound, according to the Lehigh County coroner’s office. Brewster reportedly suffered two stab wounds to his left torso that resulted in a punctured heart.

Franklin was arrested and charged with criminal homicide in Brewster’s death. She is being held without bond.

The Morning Call newspaper reports that Franklin seemed to be unaware of her actions:

You got to check again!” Na Cola Darcel Franklin pleaded to the judge during her arraignment Saturday afternoon.

The 31-year-old Whitehall Township woman apparently was unable to comprehend that her fiance, Billy Rafeal Brewster, 36, was dead — and that she was being charged with murdering him on their wedding day.

District Judge Donna Butler responded matter-of-factly.

“He was pronounced dead by the Lehigh County coroner earlier today,” she said.

Franklin wailed and covered her face in her hands.

“I want my family back,” she gasped, rocking gently back and forth. “I want to go home.”

The judge told her that she would not be going home anytime soon. When the she asked Franklin if she understood the charge against her, she reportedly stood mute. When the judge repeated her question, Franklin sobbed through her response.

“I … did … not … kill … him … on … purpose,” she said.

Franklin and her late groom were scheduled to marry at 10 a.m. that morning.



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