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Chester men arrested, charged with first degree murder in May 21 shooting death

MEDIA, Pa -- Today Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland and Commissioner Otis Blair of the Chester Police Department announced the arrests of Byron Maurice Minor, 28, and Eric Lawrence Johnson, 28, both of Chester, who are charged in the shooting death of 36-year-old Vincent Franklin which occurred on May 21, 2018, in the area of the 500 block of Central Avenue in Chester.

Byron Maurice Minor, 28, of the 2300 block of W. 4th Street and Eric Lawrence Johnson, 28, of the 500 block of W. 5th Street in Chester, are charged with first and third-degree murder, criminal homicide, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy. The investigation was conducted by Detective Brian Pot of the Chester Police Department and Detective Daniel A. McFarland of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Homicide Unit.

On May 21, 2018, at approximately 4:25 p.m., Chester Police were dispatched to the 500 block of Central Avenue for a report of a shooting.  At the scene, patrol units discovered a male victim, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, lying in the front yard of 504 Central Avenue. The male, identified as Vincent Franklin, was treated at the scene, then transported by ambulance to Crozer Chester Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 6:04 p.m.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives determined that on May 21, 2018, Byron Minor borrowed a Nissan Rogue from a friend who had rented the car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Byron Minor and Eric Johnson then used the vehicle to drive to Central Avenue and kill the victim.  An investigation revealed that Minor and Johnson are known to be close friends and frequently in each other’s company.  

The investigation revealed that on May 21, the Nissan Rogue, operated by Byron Minor, pulled up in front of 502 Central Avenue in Chester. Eric Johnson then exited the passenger side, and immediately began firing his weapon as he approached the victim, Vincent Franklin, firing at least 22 shots from .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, striking Franklin several times. Johnson then re-entered the front passenger side of the Nissan, driven by Minor, which then fled the area, heading south on Central Avenue, turning left, and traveling east on Route 291. Video was obtained from the Delaware River Port Authority showing the vehicle getting onto 322 West, which leads to 1-95 North, from Route 291 at 4:26 p.m.

As the result of an investigation by Chester Police and CID, which included witness testimony, a forensic review of cell phone records, positive photo identification and video surveillance, Eric Johnson and Bryon Minor were confirmed as the individuals who shot and killed Vincent Franklin on May 21, 2018.   

“In this case, the victim, Vincent Franklin, was ruthlessly gunned down in broad daylight in a residential neighborhood. As the result of surveillance video and assistance from the community, we were able to identify and apprehend the individuals responsible for this senseless murder. I would like to commend the investigative work of Detective Brian Pot of the Chester Police Department and CID Detective Daniel McFarland for taking these dangerous individuals off the street,” said District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland. 

 

CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE MERELY ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL AND UNLESS PROVEN GUILTY.

 

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OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
DELAWARE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19063
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610-891-4161

KATAYOUN M. COPELAND, DISTRICT ATTORNEY
JOSEPH A. RYAN, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: August 28, 2018 
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4252