Tammy Franklin, who is accused of plotting with her son to murder her husband, began a relationship in September with a man whom she told she had left her husband last year, according to the latest search warrant revealed in the case against Franklin and her son, Steven.
A Wake County Sheriff’s Office investigator got the warrant for the man’s cellphone Thursday afternoon and returned it to the court clerk’s office a few hours later.
To justify the warrant, Investigator Darcy Weaver told a magistrate that she had interviewed the man Wednesday and that he told her an exchange of messages and photos, accompanied by phone conversations, began in September between him and Tammy Franklin.
“During the course of their correspondence, a relationship had developed,” Weaver wrote in the warrant application.
The man said “their relationship had continued until the date of this interview,” the application said.
Weaver hoped to find evidence on the phone of the relationship, she said, although the warrant is marked that no evidence was seized.
Tammy Franklin, 45, and Steven Franklin, 23, have been held in the Wake County Detention Center since deputies arrested them Nov. 9 on charges of conspiring to murder Donald Franklin. Tammy Franklin had been charged earlier with communicating threats and trying to intimidate a witness, her husband.
Steven Franklin is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill his father. Deputies said he assaulted Donald Franklin with a 4-inch kitchen knife on Halloween.
In other search warrants, Weaver has laid out a scenario in which Steven Franklin tried to push his father down stairs in their garage after asking Donald for help retrieving a heavy box of tools. A spiked rake had been put at the bottom of the steps, one warrant said.
Donald Franklin was able to drop the tools and keep himself from falling, and the knife attack began after that, the warrants said.
After Donald Franklin reported the assault, deputies say, Tammy Franklin sent her son to visit her parents in Haywood County while telling investigators he was in Washington, D.C.
Deputies also have written that Tammy Franklin took out a $1 million life insurance policy on Donald Franklin and “badgered” him into signing paperwork for it.
She told investigators that the policy covered her and her husband and that she took it out in March, Weaver said. The actual application date, in May, has been cited in arrest warrants as the start of the conspiracy of which Tammy Franklin and Steven Franklin are accused.
The search warrant for the man’s phone says that he told Weaver that he and Tammy Franklin had “spent time together” in Wake County and at Tammy Franklin’s parents’ home in Haywood County and had been “with their children.”
Tammy Franklin has a daughter, Savannah. The application implies the man also has children but does not describe them.
The search warrant says the man told investigators that “both Tammy Franklin and Savannah Franklin had called him, sent him text messages and corresponded with him on Facebook and/or Facebook Messenger regarding events directly related to this case.”
It said Tammy Franklin told the man she and her husband had separated in December 2014.
Other warrants returned Thursday asked for permission to search the Facebook accounts of Tammy, Steven and Savannah Franklin and said no evidence had been seized after doing that.