A 22-year-old Zachary man accused of kidnapping a Baton Rouge firefighter at gunpoint in May and forcing him to withdraw money from several ATMs was indicted Wednesday on charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.
Jaylan Tyrelle Franklin was ultimately shot and wounded by the firefighter, a reserve deputy constable who was building a house near Franklin’s home.
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury charged Franklin, 21680 Ligon Road, with aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated burglary. He remains in custody.
The victim had been completing work on his under-construction home — also on Ligon Road — and was leaving the property about 3:30 a.m. when Franklin approached him riding a bicycle, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office has said. Franklin demanded money, but the victim said he had none on him, so Franklin pulled out a gun and forced him to go to an ATM to take out cash, sheriff’s officials said.
In a brazen ordeal that started in Zachary and ended in Baker, Franklin forced the man to drive to several ATM locations and withdraw cash, investigators said. Upset with the amount of money initially taken, Franklin demanded the victim go back to his Alba Drive home in Baker to take his wife’s ATM card, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The firefighter told Franklin to wait outside the home because he had large dogs that would attack, Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn has said.
Franklin agreed but warned the victim he would kill him and his family if he didn’t return to the vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said. Franklin even asked which windows in the home belonged to the victim’s son.
Once inside the house the firefighter armed himself and told his wife to call police, but Franklin entered the house before police arrived and was shot by the firefighter, authorities said. The man detained Franklin until police showed up.
Dunn, who said his officers arrived at the home in time to hear the single shot fired, called the victim a hero and a lifesaver.
Franklin told a detective he “made a stupid mistake and robbed the victim of about $1,000 because he was going through a rough time,” his arrest report states.
A conviction on the aggravated kidnapping count would carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Armed robbery carries a prison term of 10 to 99 years, and aggravated burglary is punishable by up to 30 years behind bars.
“We look forward to fairly presenting and proving the state’s case to provide the victim and his family justice in this matter,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said.
Online court records do not indicate whether Franklin has an attorney.
The case has been assigned to state District Judge Lou Daniel.