A manhunt is underway for a suspect who was supposed to go on trial this week over the murder of a former University of Oklahoma football player at a Dallas short-term rental last year.
Antwan Franklin, 23, posted bail after being charged with capital murder. He allegedly cut off the ankle monitor he was required to wear on June 27, and police have been searching for him ever since.
He was one of three suspects implicated in the murder of Du’vanta Lampkin, 25. His trial has been postponed.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Lampkin’s body was discovered after Dallas police conducted a welfare check at an apartment in Downtown Dallas on May 5. The apartment was in Council Member Jesse Moreno’s District 2 at 500 S. Ervay St.
Especially when compared to the city center of neighboring Fort Worth, Downtown Dallas sees exceptionally high crime rates. As covered by The Dallas Express, one study found that there were 12 times more assault offenses committed in Downtown Dallas than in downtown Fort Worth.
Fort Worth’s downtown area is reportedly patrolled by a dedicated neighborhood police unit and private security guards.
Lampkin had been shot once in the chest and was no longer in possession of his cell phone, wallet, and designer backpack.
An investigation led to the arrests of Franklin, 25-year-old Erick Garcia, and 32-year-old John Williams.
The three suspects were tied to the murder through Instagram messages in which they allegedly planned a robbery. Video footage also allegedly showed Garcia and Williams ambushing Lampkin at the entrance of the short-term rental unit.
According to the arrest affidavit, Franklin allegedly sent messages orchestrating the attack, describing Lampkin as “intoxicated and unconscious,” “friendly,” and with “no gun,” as well as advising his alleged accomplices “don’t do it till he at door.”
Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill earlier this year making it a criminal offense to tamper with or remove an ankle monitor after several violent crimes were committed by suspects who made bail and cut their ankle monitors off, as covered by The Dallas Express.
The measure was supported by Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, who has been trying to keep crime down amid an ongoing staffing shortage. DPD currently maintains a force of fewer than 3,200 sworn officers, whereas a City report previously advised that Dallas needs about 4,000 on staff.
Citywide, criminal homicides have increased by nearly 8% year over year, with 179 recorded as of September 18, according to data from the City’s crime analytics dashboard.