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Single shot kills pregnant girlfriend

By AMY HERDY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 15, 2002

TAMPA -- The former high school sweethearts were expecting a baby in two weeks.

TAMPA -- The former high school sweethearts were expecting a baby in two weeks.

But early Tuesday, Anthony Franklin thought he saw an intruder and reached for his gun, he later said.

Deputies say Franklin, 20, fired a single shot from his semiautomatic .45 into the chest of 19-year-old Shykimma Williams, his girlfriend of three years.

Williams, who could not be revived at the scene, was flown to Tampa General Hospital and arrived at 3:03 a.m., a spokesman said. She was pronounced dead five minutes later. The unborn child could not be delivered.

Franklin told detectives he was sleeping in the couple's duplex at 9322 Grandfield Road in Thonotosassa when he awoke and saw a shadow, sheriff's Lt. Rod Reder said. Franklin said he pulled the handgun from under his pillow and fired one shot at a figure standing over him, which turned out to be Williams, Reder said.

Detectives charged Franklin with manslaughter, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana. He was held without bail.

His mother, Delores Franklin, 49, said he had been devoted to the young woman he called Kymma.

"He was saying, 'Mom, I shot Kymma. I didn't mean to do it; it was an accident,' " Franklin recalled.

The couple had been together since Williams was 16. They met while both were students at King High School, Franklin said.

Franklin said someone had tried to rob her son at his home before, and that was why he kept the gun under his pillow.

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