A Winslow man, aged 27, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Coconino Superior Court earlier this month. The crime occurred while he was camping in the Forest Lakes region in Coconino County, Arizona.
In June, Chad Lapointe was taken into custody by Coconino County Sheriff’s deputies after responding to a report of an altercation at the Mogollon Rim Visitors Center. According to deputies, Simone Franklin (25), and Lapointe Franklin (27), were camping near the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center when an argument broke out.
The incident was investigated and it was discovered that Brandon Franklin and Lapointe eventually started fighting. Lapointe Franklin and Simone Franklin provided inconsistent accounts of what had happened when deputies arrived.
Initial reports by the pair to authorities stated that Brandon Franklin had hogtied Simone Franklin near their campsite. According to court documents, they claimed that three men from another country had arrived at the campsite to chase and assault them.
Simone Franklin later admitted to detectives that her statement was false and that she had never been tied to a chair, according to court records. She also said that she and Lapointe had invented the story about the three men.
Simone Franklin, however, claimed that she was attacked by Brandon Franklin and was blacked out. After she regained consciousness, she informed the detective that she had seen Brandon Franklin and Lapointe punching each other.