Murder charges expected in beating death

November 12, 2009 (LAGRANGE, Ill.) Gertrude Franklin, 81, of 1017 Barnsdale Rd. in LaGrange Park was pronounced dead at 4:12 a.m. Thursday at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Franklin had been hospitalized since the Oct. 29 assault and remained unconscious until her death, according to LaGrange Park Police Chief Philip Kubisztal.

Franklin's nephew, David Brown, of the 2100 block of 9th Avenue in Maywood, was originally charged with home invasion and attempted murder, but charges are expected to be upgraded to first-degree murder later Thursday, Kubisztal said.

Brown was nabbed by police after a traffic stop and has been in custody since the late October incident in which he allegedly stole Franklin's car, burglarized her home and assaulted her, Kubisztal said. He was ordered held on $2 million bond on the original charges on Nov. 2.

La Grange police attempted to curb Franklin's 2003 Buick traveling north on the 1400 block of Kemman Avenue at 4:20 a.m. on Oct. 29. But after the officer activated the siren and flashing lights, the driver sped away, turned east on 28th Street and crashed into a parkway tree at Ostrander Avenue, Kubisztal said.

Brown was taken to Loyola University Meidcal Center in Maywood, where he was in custody while being treated.

"One of the officers at the scene recognized the vehicle belonging to an elderly resident because of previous contact, so they went to her address," Kubisztal said. Franklin had previously told police a family member was using her vehicle without permission.

With the assistance of the landlord, police gained entry into the home on the 1000 block of Barnsdale Road.

"She was found alive but unresponsive on the floor," Kubisztal said. "There was an apparent struggle and her car was taken."

LaGrange Park paramedics brought Franklin to Loyola Medical Center. Kubisztal said both the crash site and her home were being investigated as crime scenes with the assistance of Illinois State Police evidence technicians and the State Crime Lab.

Kubisztal said Brown had a no bond warrant issued from the Illinois Dept. of Corrections for a parole violation as a result of his most recent arrest.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2009.)

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