Probable cause hearing held for Ardmore double murder suspect

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) 32-year-old Carlton Franklin said he was innocent as he entered a Carter County courtroom Friday morning.

Franklin faces two counts of first degree murder.

Court documents allege Franklin shot and killed Justin Sullivan and Karli Clearman around Nov. 11, 2017.

Both of their bodies were found in a burned car outside of Clearman's house in Ardmore.

The night of Nov. 10, Clearman had picked up Franklin and Sullivan who had left a halfway house in Oklahoma City, taking them back to Ardmore.

The state called four witnesses: two people who had been with Clearman just hours before she died, one person who was with Franklin at the time of the killings and an Ardmore police detective who worked the case.

"The DA did a really good job," Karli's aunt Regina Clearman said. "He was really strong with what he was saying and everything."

Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd is the prosecutor in the case.

"The judge made a finding that we established probable cause of his guilt," Ladd said. "Now, he'll be held for trial. But, I think for the most part, the hearing went well. It's kind of what we planned to accomplish today and we're pleased that the judge bound him over for trial."

If convicted, Franklin faces death or life in prison without parole.

"I just want to let Karli know that we love her and we miss her," Clearman said. "She's always right here in our hearts."

Judge Carson Brooks set the date for a formal arraignment on March 13, 2019 at 9 a.m. in the Carter County Courthouse.

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