New court date set for suspect in ODOT worker death

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - The formal arraignment for 19-year-old Deven Wayne Franklin, accused in the highway death of an Oklahoma Department of Transportation employee last fall, has been passed to next week.

The Sperry man, charged with first-degree manslaughter, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, is set to appear in court on Aug. 1 at which time a trial date will be selected.

District Judge Curtis DeLapp set the date during a hearing Wednesday in Washington County District Court.

Franklin is accused of killing 42-year-old Ira Lee Henderson on Nov. 30, 2011, as Henderson was working on U.S. Highway 75 near Ramona.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, at around 8:30 a.m. Franklin's southbound 2003 Pontiac Grand Am crossed the southbound lane divider line and struck Henderson who was working in a construction zone. He then struck another vehicle before coming to rest in the outside lanes of the highway.

Henderson died at the scene of the accident — his death due to "multiple blunt force injuries," according to the medical examiner's office which performed an autopsy the same day.

A test performed on a blood sample taken from Franklin within an hour of the accident showed traces of THC in his blood, indicating Franklin had been under the influence of marijuana, impairing his "ability to safely drive a motor vehicle," according to the probable cause affidavit.

The report said additionally the trooper at the scene found a wooden box between the driver's seat and center console bearing marijuana and, underneath the car, a smoking pipe.

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