Man Flees Courtroom Before Probation Verdict

A North Texas man who would have been on probation for his drug conviction has been sentenced Thursday to six months in jail.

Officials said 47-year-old James Carroll Franklin of Azle fled before hearing the verdict Wednesday in Decatur and was captured after a chase.

Defense attorney Jim Shaw said Franklin apparently panicked after prosecutors urged jurors to sentence him to life in prison.

Franklin went to the restroom. Minutes later the jury returned with its verdict: a $1,000 fine and six years in prison -- which they recommended be probated.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Franklin led authorities on a chase through Wise and Parker counties before being caught in Tarrant County.

The judge has sentenced Franklin to 180 days in jail as a condition of his 10-year probation. He also faces a felony charge of evading arrest.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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