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updated: 12/22/2010 5:17 PM

Hospital stabbing suspect fit for trial

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  • Darrell Franklin

    Darrell Franklin


An Aurora man who is accused of stabbing a 78-year-old woman with a butter knife at an Aurora hospital pleaded not guilty Wednesday after he was found fit for trial.

Darrell Franklin, 39, of the 600 block of South River Street, has been held on $100,000 bail since the Aug. 31 attack at Provena Mercy Medical Center, which left the woman with cuts to the face and shoulders, a broken nose, a fractured eye socket and another broken bone in her face.

Franklin is charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery to a person over 60 and aggravated battery.

If convicted, he faces a sentence of six to 30 years in prison. Probation is not an option.

Police said Franklin stabbed the woman several times with a butter knife while visiting a shared room at Provena Mercy Medical Center. The woman was at the hospital for dialysis.

Authorities have said the attack may have happened moments after Franklin learned his son had been killed in an unrelated matter.

In court Wednesday, Judge Karen Simpson read a report from the Kane County Diagnostic Center that deemed Franklin fit for trial. The report was then sealed.

Franklin's attorney, Walt Werderich of the Kane County Public Defender's Office, entered a plea of not guilty.

Simpson had to repeat twice to Franklin that he had a right to confront witnesses during a trial.

At one point, Franklin said he was never read his rights after he was arrested.

"We're not here for your trial today. I'm just telling you about the rights you have," Simpson told Franklin.

Franklin is due in court on Jan. 28.