On June 3, 2020 the Franklinton Police Department responded to an aggravated arson at a residence
on Bene Street. On arrival Officers located a fire which was quickly extinguished. Officers obtained video surveillance from the residence with images of two individuals pouring an accelerate and lighting a fire. The video was uploaded to FPD Social Media pages and, with the public’s assistance, both individuals were identified. One of the suspected arsonists was determined to be a juvenile (age 16) and the other an adult identified as Mardeontae J. Lee (age 22) of Franklinton. The juvenile’s identity is not being released due to his age.
On June 20, 2020, Patrol Officers located the juvenile in Franklinton The juvenile was interviewed by and reportedly confessed to his involvement in the crime. Detectives were unable to locate Lee and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
On July 6, 2020, Detectives arrested Lee at his residence without incident. Lee was charged with 3 counts attempted first degree murder (Felony), 1 count aggravated arson (Felony), 1 count contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile (Felony) and 1 count simple possession of marijuana (Misdemeanor). The investigation is on-going and it is believed to be in retaliation for an earlier homicide which occurred on June 1, 2020 where Paul Robinson was arrested.
Chief Brown acknowledges the outstanding work of FPD Investigators for their relentless pursuit of those responsible. Chief Brown went on to thank the community for their assistance in identifying both individuals.