Court Documents: Murder charge withdrawn against Wise Co. man accused in death of 5-month-old

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WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A man involved in a case centered around the death of an infant in August 2015 has had a murder charge withdrawn.

According to court documents, Franklin Mullins pleaded guilty to child abuse of his son, also named Franklin, who died at 3 months old. Mullins was sentenced on December 3 to 10 years in prison.

Mullins’ second-degree murder charge in the case was withdrawn after a disagreement arose between the two Commonwealth’s medical expert witnesses who were expected to testify in the trial.

Wise County court documents show that because of the difference in opinions, the medical evidence lacked clarity pertaining to the felony murder charge leading to the charge being withdrawn.

Mullins must serve seven years and six months of his 10-year sentence.

Mullins’ sentence also includes four years of supervised probation.

According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp, Mullins still faces child abuse and felony murder charges for the death of Mullins’ other son, Ryan. Investigators said 5-month-old Ryan died after being taken to a hospital with head injuries.

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The two children were twins.

A trial date for the charges from Ryan’s death has not been set.

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