Na Cola Franklin to serve life sentence for
murder of fiancé, Billy Brewster, on wedding day
By Will Lewis - Wfmz.com
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,
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
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
"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 - Wfmz.com
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
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
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
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 - Wfmz.com
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
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
"My [other] son went up and saw the tape," said
Obas. "We thought that there was an accident or maybe an intruder had
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,
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
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 - Newsone.com
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
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
District Judge Donna Butler responded
“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
Franklin and her late groom were scheduled to marry
at 10 a.m. that morning.