Jury recommends death sentence for Richard Franklin

Inmate convicted of killing corrections Officer Ruben Thomas

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Inmate Richard Franklin and Sgt. Ruben Thomas

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. - A jury decided an inmate convicted of killing Columbia County Corrections Officer Ruben Thomas should be put to death.

Richard Franklin was found guilty last week after a one-week trial.

Thomas was stabbed in the neck with a handmade weapon while conducting a cell check at the Columbia Correctional Institution near Lake City in March 2012. A second guard was treated and released from a hospital after being injured in the attack.

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