A jury was seated for the trial of a convicted felon accused of killing his forty one-yr-previous girlfriend and dumping the educator’s physique at an Indio golf course.
Michael John Franco, forty six, of Indio, faces life in jail with out the potential of parole if convicted of killing Jill Grant, a Palm Desert Excessive Faculty math instructor whose physique was discovered on the Golf Membership at Terra Lago within the early morning hours of Dec. 23, 2013.
Along with homicide, Franco faces one felony rely every of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a loaded firearm, sentence-enhancing allegations of utilizing a lethal weapon within the fee of a felony and particular circumstance allegations of inflicting torture and committing the homicide within the fee of a kidnapping.
In August 2015, prosecutors determined towards pursuing capital punishment, leaving life with out parole as the one potential sentence ought to Franco be convicted.
Attorneys will current their opening statements Tuesday morning on the Larson Justice Middle.
Grant’s physique was discovered by golf course staff, who informed Indio police that a car sped off, leaving tire marks alongside the course.
The prosecution alleges that Franco informed a fellow inmate in 2014 that he and Grant had gotten into an argument, main him to slit her throat with a field cutter.
He then allegedly wrapped her throat with a towel and drove to the golf course to dump her physique, however “defined that the human physique is resilient after which said she received up and took off operating, at which level he ran her over with the automotive,” in accordance with the prosecutor’s trial temporary.
Shortly after Grant’s physique was discovered, a person who “strongly resembled” the defendant was seen on surveillance footage driving Grant’s Prius to an am/pm fuel station comfort retailer in Indio, in accordance with the temporary.
Whereas there, the person used Grant’s ATM card to withdraw $four hundred, spent appreciable time inspecting the automotive’s entrance bumper and eliminated a “giant stick/brush” from the bumper space, in response to the prosecution.
Detectives would later discover shrubbery and grass within the automotive’s entrance grill and beneath the wheel properly, in response to the temporary.
Prosecutors allege a longtime pal of Franco’s informed police that he acquired a recorded message on his telephone from Franco’s telephone at 12:26 a.m. Dec. 23. He heard what appeared like “a feminine begging for her life” on the decision, which he thought had been made inadvertently.
Within the recording, Grant seems to be telling Franco that they need to name police and report that she was attacked by another person, based on the courtroom doc.
He allegedly responded that he would take her to the hospital and name 911, at which level Grant responds by saying, “Wait till I can consider one other concept. What if I drive the automotive someplace and name myself and say I used to be attacked? Would that work (inaudible).”
Grant and Franco have been…