OAKLAND — A murder trial that had been set for mid-November is now scheduled to begin no earlier than next month, after the defense filed motions saying they located a new witness who may reinforce a self-defense theory, court records show.
For three years, Mister Otto Franklin, 43, of Oakland, has been in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin facing charges that he murdered 26-year-old Marla Minter-Brooks on the morning of Sept. 19, 2017. Minter-Brooks was shot multiple times on the 600 block of Almanza Drive in Oakland and died at a hospital later that day, police said at the time.
According to a police probable cause statement, Franklin was identified as a suspect and arrested within 48 hours of the homicide. Police said in a probable cause statement that investigators matched a gun found during Franklin’s arrest — at a home on Havenscourt Boulevard in Oakland — to shell casings found at the scene. Witnesses and video surveillance also connected Franklin to the shooting, according to court records.
Franklin was set to go on trial November 16. But according to a legal motion filed by his attorney, the defense became aware of a new eyewitness in mid-October. That eyewitness initially told police he “didn’t see much,” according to the defense motion.
But in mid-October, a woman told a defense investigator she’d spoke to the eyewitness, who claimed he’d seen Minter-Brooks “pull her shirt up as if reaching for something, and then pull a gun out on (Franklin),” the defense motion says. As a result, Franklin’s trial has been continued to at least Jan. 4 while the defense investigates the claim.
Franklin is charged with murder, gun possession, and car theft. He is being held on a no-bail hold, according to jail records.