JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a Joliet man who shot his longtime girlfriend while she was in bed with their young child has been found guilty of first-degree murder.
Eric Glover, 45, murdered Velma Franklin in the early-morning hours of June 17, 2002. Franklin and her 3-year-old daughter were lying in bed when Glover entered the room and shot the young mother in the head.
Glover fled the house after the shooting, leaving his frightened little daughter in the bed, where she remained until Franklin’s body was discovered the next morning by her other children.
Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes found Glover guilty Wednesday afternoon at the conclusion of a seven-day bench trial. The defendant faces 45 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 29.
Testimony at the trial revealed that Glover and Franklin had a stormy relationship and that the defendant had committed acts of domestic violence on prior occasions, one time slamming her head into a door frame.
Two months before Franklin was killed, Glover shot a .38-caliber weapon over her head while she was lying in bed, leaving the bullet in the wall. The bullet was retrieved from the wall on the day her body was discovered. It was found to be the same caliber as the bullet that was removed from the victim’s head during the autopsy.
In addition, Franklin’s daughter, in a recorded interview at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, told officials that her father had shot her mother.
The case was charged in 2002 but dismissed by a prior administration in the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. However, Jim Stewart, a retired Joliet Police Captain who took over as chief of the Investigations Division for the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office in 2010, urged State’s Attorney Glasgow to review the case and reinstate it in 2012. Sadly, Stewart passed away days before the verdict.
“This guilty verdict my prosecutors secured today is a testament to Jim Stewart’s dogged determination and his desire for justice on behalf of Velma Franklin,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “This case would never have gotten another look and a cowardly murderer would still be free if Jim Stewart had not championed the cause.”
The State’s Attorney also credited his prosecutors, Frank Byers, Christine Vukmir, and John Rickmon for their excellent trial work that secured this important verdict.