Marijuana Sale Leads to Pistol-Whipping, Armed Robbery

BOSTON, Nov. 15, 2012—A Roxbury man already convicted of one gun offense was held on high bail yesterday at his arraignment on two new firearms charges after allegedly robbing a man of marijuana and beating him with a pistol, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

MESSIAH A. FRANKLIN (D.O.B. 11/15/88) was arraigned in Roxbury District Court yesterday on charges of masked armed robbery with a firearm, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and possession with intent to distribute a Class D substance.

Because of prior firearm and drug distribution convictions in 2006 and 2011, Franklin is additionally charged with unlawful possession of a firearm as a subsequent offense, unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm as a subsequent offense, and being a Level I armed career criminal.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas H. Costello requested Franklin be held on $100,000 bail. Judge Pamela M. Dashiell set bail at $75,000. She also ordered that, if he posts bail, Franklin wear a GPS monitor, abide by a curfew of 7:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., and have no contact with the victim.

According to prosecutors, a 21-year-old Revere man and his girlfriend arrived at 312 Warren St. in Roxbury on Friday to sell marijuana to a man they both knew. Once inside an apartment, another man – later identified as Franklin – struck the man in the head with a gun and grabbed his backpack containing marijuana. A single gunshot was fired during the altercation, and the female robbery victim initially feared the man had been shot, but the victim’s head wound was determined to be caused by blunt force trauma, prosecutors said.

Based on evidence and statements developed by Boston Police detectives, investigators obtained a warrant to search Franklin’s home.  In the course of that search, prosecutors said, Boston Police found two mason jars filled with marijuana, a third jar half full, a loaded Beretta .380 semiautomatic handgun, a Ruger .22 pistol that police believe was used in the robbery, ammunition for both guns, a black mask, and clothing with reddish-brown stains.

Franklin was represented by Rebecca J. Kratka. He will return to court on Dec. 13.


All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.