Fort Worth

He killed his ex-girlfriend, then called his daughter to say goodbye, affidavit states

Harmonie Soule

After fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend, a Fort Worth man called a relative, saying he had “messed up” and wanted to speak to his daughter so he could tell her goodbye, according to court documents.

Jarvis Jermaine Franklin, 36, was arrested on a murder warrant at a Forest Hill home Wednesday night.

He is is accused of killing Karen Finney, a 32-year-old woman who he had known since high school and had been dating off and on for the past six months.

The case marks the second time that Franklin has been accused of murder in less than 10 years.

Three of Finney’s children were in the east Fort Worth residence in the 6000 block of McKaskle Drive when the shooting took place shortly before 6 a.m. Friday. One of the children told investigators she heard the doorbell ring and then her mother arguing with Finney before gunshots rang out, according to an arrest warrant affidavit written by Detective C.M. Watson.

Finney was found lying on her bed. She’d been shot multiple times in the face and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Her 12-year-old daughter called 911.

Franklin was interviewed by Fort Worth homicide detectives after being arrested by Forest Hill police, according to homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman.

Franklin was being held in the Tarrant County Jail on Thursday with bail set at $500,000.

The investigation

The arrest warrant affidavit details the case as follows:

Franklin had been at the family’s house the night before the shooting but was later dropped off by Finney at his mother’s house after dinner.

At 1:07 a.m. Friday, Franklin’s daughter sent an Instagram message to one of Finney’s children, saying, “My daddy is on his way over there and he is mad.”

Franklin’s brother told homicide Detective Tom O’Brien that he had overheard Jarvis Franklin arguing over the phone with Finney, also known as “KK.” The brother said Franklin believed Finney was messing around on him.

The brother told police he was able to get Franklin to calm down, but that Franklin left the house late Jan. 17 with a friend.

The next morning, at 5:56 a.m. , the brother said, Franklin called him and asked him to wake up Franklin’s daughter “so he could say goodbye,” the affidavit states.

“Jarvis then told him that he had messed up and that KK was gone,” the affidavit states.

Though she denied any knowledge of her son’s involvement in Finney’s death to police, investigators also believe Franklin confessed over the phone to his mother Friday morning, according to the affidavit.

After getting off the phone with her son, the mother was heard saying, “He killed that girl. Shot her in the face three times.” the affidavit states.

Finney’s family members told Detective Watson that Franklin had previously pulled a gun on Finney and once admitted to Finney that he had been the one who shot up her car months earlier. They said Finney had tried to break up with Franklin but he would not leave her alone.

Finney’s sister, Harmonie Soule, disputed the affidavit’s account of Franklin and Finney’s relationship, saying that they hadn’t dated since high school and that Finney is married.

“This guy stalked her,” Soule told the Star-Telegram in a phone interview Thursday. “He stalked her at her job. She tried several times to get away from him.”

Soule said Finney and Franklin had dated in high school. Franklin was sent to prison for manslaughter in 2013. After his release, he and Finney reconnected.

“He and my sister got back in contact for maybe four or six months at the most,” she said. “He had other women, some of whom have reached out to me since. Anyone could have gotten into this. She was absolutely just trying to help him.”

Finney and her husband — who is incarcerated — have been together since middle school, Soule said, and had plans to reconcile their relationship and renew their vows when he’s released later this year.

The husband had asked Finney to stop letting Franklin hang around, Soule said.

“He knew about (Franklin) coming around, and he put his foot down and said, ‘We can’t do this with the children, we’re going to put this behind us,’” Soule said. “She was ready for that and (Franklin) said if he couldn’t have her, no one else could.”

Previous murder case

Franklin had been accused in 2009 of fatally stabbing his mother’s boyfriend, 39-year-old Robert Bishop.

According to a previous Star-Telegram article, an argument had broken out during a gathering at Bishop’s Fort Worth home in December 2009, prompting Bishop to pull a knife and order everyone out.

JARVIS FRANKLIN 1 22 2013.jpg
Jarvis Franklin’s prison mugshot Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Bishop was later standing on his porch when Franklin and his brother returned to the home and rushed him, police said.

At some point, Bishop dropped his knife, which was picked up by Franklin. Franklin stabbed Bishop multiple times, police said.

Though charged with murder, court records show Franklin pleaded guilty in January 2013 to manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

He was released from prison on Jan. 26, 2018, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

A loving mother

Above anything else, Finney loved her children. She and her husband had four together — 14, 12, 11 and 7 year olds.

The younger kids were home when Finney was killed. The oldest is still in shock, Soule said.

“She’s afraid,” Soule said. “He’s (in jail) now, but she’s still locking doors two or three times, asking if everything is locked up. She’s afraid. They’re having nightmares. The 7-year-old is crying, saying he wants his mommy.”

Soule described her sister as a “very loving” woman who wanted to help people.

“She was very giving, very funny,” Soule said. “Normally she was quiet, but when she did talk, she made you laugh. But the most important thing about her is how much she loved her children.”

The kids, Soule said, are staying with their grandmother. They’ve been seeing a therapist and have received help from the police department’s crime victim unit.

“They’ve been very helpful to us and very supportive,” she said.

Finney’s funeral will be at 1 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the Gideon Baptist Church, 4639 Miller Ave. Soule said the funeral is open to anyone who knew her sister.

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For 23 years, Deanna Boyd has covered crime for the Star-Telegram. She digs deep into the stories behind the tragedies and hosts Out of the Cold, a podcast about unsolved murders in North Texas. She is a University of Texas at Austin graduate and has won several journalism awards through the years.