Jury recommends death for man who killed corrections officer

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Inmate Richard Franklin and Sgt. Ruben Thomas

LAKE CITY, Fla. - A jury has recommended the death penalty for an inmate convicted last week of first-degree murder in the March 2012 killing of 24-year-old corrections officer.

After a one-week trial, it took the jury just over three hours to find Richard Franklin guilty in the killing of Sgt. Ruben Thomas at Columbia Correctional Institution near Lake City.

Thomas was stabbed in the neck with a handmade weapon while conducting a cell check. A second guard was treated and released from a hospital after being injured in the attack.

Franklin has been in prison since 1995 serving a life sentence for murder.

Thomas left behind a fiancee, a daughter and a baby boy on the way. His name was just added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during ceremonies in Washington D.C. last month.

Franklin was convicted of murdering 25-year-old Bethune-Cookman University student Gregory Roper in 1994. He also received life for robbing an elderly man and 30 years for shooting the victim, who survived.

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