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Local News

Judge: Man accused of leaving baby outside came to court intoxicated

Kenyatta A. Franklin
Kenyatta A. Franklin

JOLIET – A Bolingbrook man accused of leaving a baby outside in chilly temperatures while he got drunk last month also was allegedly severely intoxicated at his court appearance Monday.

Kenyatta A. Franklin, 36, faces three counts of endangering the life or health of a child. One of Franklin’s bond conditions since his March 10 release from the Will County jail was not to consume any alcohol.

But when Franklin came in Monday, Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Romero made a motion that he be given a portable breathalyzer test. Judge Matthew Bertani granted the motion, and a Will County sheriff’s deputy had Franklin blow into the device.

According to court records, Franklin’s blood alcohol content was measured at 0.411 – five times the legal limit of intoxication. Court records did not indicate whether Franklin drove to court Monday. Bertani ordered his bond revoked, and he was booked into jail.

On the evening of March 4, Franklin allegedly took his girlfriend’s then-11-month-old daughter to visit a friend and stopped at an Ingalls Park liquor store, Joliet police said. When Franklin returned to the 1300 block of East Washington Street, he left the girl outside in a stroller wearing an unzipped jacket and no hat or gloves, police said.

A neighbor found the girl about 30 minutes later and notified police, who said the temperature at the time was 34 degrees with a wind chill below freezing. Officers found Franklin and the girl’s mother, Melissa Vance, passed out on a couch inside the apartment with numerous empty beer cans and wine glasses, lit candles and a pot of water boiling on the stove.

Vance and Franklin were both arrested, but charges were later dropped against Vance after prosecutors could not prove she was aware the child had been left outside. Police reports did not indicate whether the child is related to Franklin. Franklin was previously charged with endangering the life or health of a child in June 2006.

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