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Star-Ledger: Former Westfield Resident Killed Lena Triano

Carlton Franklin identified as suspect in the murder of Triano, who lived at 616 Ripley Place.

When the Westfield Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor's Office announced the arrest of the suspect in the horrific murder of Lena Triano, the officials said that, because the suspect was a minor when he allegedly committed the homicide, he couldn't be identified. He would be tried as a minor and would be treated as a minor.

Overnight, however, a source close to the investigation told The Star-Ledger that the then-teenager who committed the crime is named Carlton Franklin, a man who eventually served a 20-year sentence for home-invasion robbery of a family. Franklin, who was released from prison in 1999, was arrested Monday at the oil company where he drove a truck. He was arrested without incident.

As Patch learns more details of the case, we will provide them immediately. If you went to school with Franklin or want to share your memories of Lena Triano, please leave a comment below or contact Local Editor Liz Alterman at liz.alterman@Patch.com.

NR9 April 04, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I had read the article on NJ.com which said: "[Those who broke the case]... said they could not publicly name the man...The prosecutor’s office, however, is seeking a judge’s permission to release the name.... BUT THE STAR-LEDGER HAS LEARNED THROUGH LAW ENFORCEMENT SOURCES THE SUSPECT IS CARLTON R. FRANKLIN, AN OIL TRUCK DRIVER WHO SPENT NEARLY TWO DECADES IN PRISON FOR KIDNAPPING AND ROBBERY." If the guy really did it, and the article suggests that the evidence was a slam dunk against him, then yes, it's a good thing that this was finally solved and that some kind of justice will now hopefully be served. However, the Star-Ledger's role in obtaining and then releasing the name of the suspect PRIOR TO having first allowed the judge a chance to respond to the prosecutor's request to release the name was very unprofessional on the part of the Star-Ledger. Keep in mind that he was just arrested- but he still has not yet gotten a lawyer, trial, conviction. He may (or may not) be completely guilty but, at a minimum, the Star-Ledger should have first waited to see if the prosecutor's office was able to get the judge's permission to release the name, rather than playing the judge's role for him/her. Very National-Enquirer-like on behalf of the Star-Leger.
Brendan Galligan April 04, 2012 at 01:46 PM
NR9- We tend to butt-heads often on various articles here on the Patch. However, I could not agree with you more on this issue. There are legal processes in place to protect the identity of the innocent (and you are innocent until proven guilty), especially when juveniles are accused of crimes. The prosecutors office needs to find the source of their leak. But, Star-Ledger was out of line publish such information.
Morpheus April 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM
People really will complain about anything, won't you? We should be talking about how justice will finally be served for Lena Triano but people are going to nit-pick because his name was released? Its like you guys are going to a nice restaurant where your food is delicious, the best you've ever had but instead of a water without a lemon they brought you a water with a lemon. Lets focus on the bigger picture, shall we?
NR9 April 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM
@Morpheus. On the contrary, I'm probably the most low-maintenance, easy to satisfy consumer out there. No fancy restaurants for me. No complaints/nit-picking about small stuff either. And, if they get my order wrong, I generally just try something new so as to avoid wasting food. I even tip big for all but the occasional rude waiter/waitress- like once every two years type of rudeness. As for this particular subject matter... assuming this is the right guy, like you, I'm very happy he was caught and that justice will be served. But the proper procedures should have been first respected by the Star-Ledger. The judge had not yet been given the opportunity to give his/her opinion - the Star-Ledger took the liberty of finding out that information through obviously shady means and made the decision for the judge.
Bruce Austern April 04, 2012 at 04:55 PM
NR9...low maintenance...hahahaha. If that's true...I have an extra taffic light to sell you. Agree with Morpheus...please.
NR9 April 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
@Bruce Austern. Please have your extra traffic light installed at Clover and Central (that place where the traffic safety experts hired by the town recommended installation prior to the FIFTEEN (!!) accidents that just occurred in 2012, 2011 and the 2nd half of 2010).
Bruce Austern April 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Point demonstrated....too easy. Thanks for playing along NR9, you're a good sport.
NR9 April 05, 2012 at 01:32 AM
@Brendan Galligan. I appreciate the sentiment of your comment. In recent days, there has been a lot of mud-slinging going on within Patch (I have not joined in on that article). It’s nice to see that two people can agree to disagree on one topic and yet agree on a completely different topic. Discussion/debate like that is good for a community. Character attacks and mud-slinging targeting people with a different opinion is unproductive and does nothing to better our community. Thanks again!

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