Crime - Sacto 911

Man gets life in prison in killing of 2 homeless people in Sacramento

A man who gunned down two homeless people at close range as they slept, then tried to strangle a third man in another attack last year was sentenced Monday in Sacramento Superior Court to life in state prison for his crimes.

Jurors found Christopher Franklin guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and illegal possession of a concealed firearm. Jurors also found that Franklin fired a weapon causing death or great bodily injury.

On Monday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shellyanne Chang sentenced Franklin, 29, to 75 years to life in state prison, plus 10 years, 8 months.

Franklin was convicted in September of the brutal point-blank slayings of Dennis Clark on July 10, 2015, while Clark was sleeping under a bridge in south Sacramento; and Anna Bernaix, whose body was found Oct. 11, 2015, near a homeless camp close to Calvine and Elk Grove Florin roads. She had been shot multiple times.

Shell casings from Franklin’s weapon, a .40-caliber handgun, were found at both scenes, said Sacramento County district attorney’s officials in a statement Tuesday.

The panel also found Franklin guilty of an attack Oct. 13, 2015, just days after Bernaix’s death. Prosecutors say Franklin attacked a surveyor working on a remote stretch of railroad tracks, strangling the man before other workers rushed Franklin, came to the man’s aid just as he was passing out, and called Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies arrested Franklin, finding a concealed .40-caliber handgun, said district attorney’s officials.

District attorney’s criminologists later found the .40-caliber seized by deputies was the same gun used to kill Clark and Bernaix.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith