UPDATE: Man Sentenced for Mother's Murder

By: WIFR Newsroom
By: WIFR Newsroom

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The Rockford man who robbed and then murdered his mother back in 2009 will spend the next 86 years in prison. Franklin Byrd, learned his fate today.

“I chose to not allow the situation to enhance more than what it already is, building up hate and resentment, so I chose to bring peace by forgiving him,” said Franklin’s sister, Toccara Byrd.

Franklin Byrd’s sister, Toccara Byrd says she was hoping the judge would send her brother to a mental facility instead. Byrd was found guilty of 1st degree murder and armed robbery but also declared mentally ill. Byrd told police he shot his mother Leslie in the legs and head because she was nagging him about getting a job. He says he then took her jewelry and money. Byrd was diagnosed as a schizophrenic with some mental retardation.

“It’s disappointing for me to see Mr. Byrd being sentenced to the Department of Corrections instead of him going to a place where he can get mental health treatment like the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato says justice has been served in order to deter other people from committing the same crime. The defense says they will appeal his sentencing.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Rockford man accused of shooting his mother to death has been found guilty.

Jurors also believe Franklin Byrd is mentally ill. Back in 2009, police had to evacuate a neighborhood near Longwood and Rural. When they heard shots coming from a home on Greenwood Avenue.

When Byrd eventually surrendered, they found Leslie Byrd’s body. A sentencing date has not yet been set.


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