Enterprise man found guilty of manslaughter in 2019 murder

ENTERPRISE, Ala (WDHN) — An Enterprise man has been found guilty of manslaughter after a three-day murder trial in Coffee County.

A jury consisting of six men and six women found Emmanual Key guilty of shooting 42-year-old Stevie Franklin in the back during a fight at the Daleville Lounge in late 2019. Franklin was a security guard at the lounge.

After the murder, Key, an immediate suspect in the case, fled Coffee County to surrounding states and was not arrested until over three weeks after the shooting by U.S. Marshals while Key was on his way to Texas.

He was initially charged with murder in Franklin’s death, but the jury found him guilty on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

A jury was selected in the case on Monday, March 18. The trial opened with opening statements on Wednesday, March 20.

During the trial, Key’s attorneys, Andrew Scarborough and lead trial attorney David Harrison, argued that the case was a “puzzle,” and the state only showed pieces of the puzzle they wanted to reveal.

Scarborough said there was no physical evidence that Key had the gun and shot Franklin. The gun, a .380, was never recovered.

“They have not proved that Emmanuel Key shot anyone,” said Scarborough.

The prosecution, led by Mary Katherine Head, called a witness to that stand who testified that Key told her that he shot Franklin.

“It was a clear case of admission,” said Head. “He knew exactly what he was doing when he did it.”

Closing arguments ended at 2:30, and the jury deliberated for about two and a half hours before returning the verdict.

Key is set for a sentencing hearing in the case on April 23 and Coffee County Judge Shannon Clark, who presided over the case, ordered a pre-sentence investigation. That investigation will be handled by the state’s Board of Pardon and Paroles.

Key could be facing anywhere between 2-20 years behind bars.

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