This is an appeal from Deborah Cotton regarding the upcoming sentencing of Ronald Sims, for the brutal murder of Brandon Franklin.
Brandon Franklin, 22 year old saxophonist for TBC Brass Band and a band teacher at O.Perry Walker High, was murdered Mother’s Day, 2010 by Ronald Sims, the boyfriend of Brandon’s child’s mother.
After a heated exchange with his girlfriend, Sims left her house and returned with a loaded gun. He found Brandon at her home, changing the locks on the door at her request, and pumped 13 bullets into him taking away from us a bright young musician, beloved high school teacher and father of three year old Brandon Jr. Later that day, Simms turned himself in to the authorities. He requested a trial by judge, as was his right, and on November 23rd, Judge Darryl Derbigny convicted Sims of manslaughter which brings a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
Many of Brandon’s family and friends feel that Judge Derbigny’s judgement was not just. Derbigny, a former public defense attorney, has a tendency towards leniency with defendants. In one high profile case, he acquitted a man of murder who confessed to police and reporters that he did indeed murder his victim.
We must do everything in our power to make sure the person that murdered Brandon does not get off with the same light sentence. I am asking you to join me and ensuring that Brandon’s murderer gets the maximum sentence possible. That end can be helped in two ways:
1. Write a letter or call Judge Derbigny requesting that he give the maximum sentence allowable to Ronald Sims and why you feel that this is necessary. If you knew Brandon, please include in your letter how you knew him, what he brought into your life, and what his loss has meant to you. The more personal the appeal, the better.
2. Attend the trial on Friday February 18th (time TBA)
Putting a spotlight on the judge and ensuring that he knows a vast cross-section of our community is watching how he handles this case is paramount to getting the strongest sentence possible. We must send him and the city of New Orleans the message that our lives are NOT cheap. If you didn’t know Brandon, please right a letter anyway. Do it for all the times one of ours was murdered and you felt helpless to do anything about it. If you knew Brandon, please do it to honor what he brought into your life as well as his future which is now embodied in his son Brandon Jr., his O. Perry Walker students, and his bandmates in the TBC Brass Band.
Please send your letters to Justice4BrandonFranklin@yahoo.com NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11th. Thank you in advance for your effort.