MCPHERSON, Kan. – A former McPherson College football player is facing charges in connection to the beating death of a football player at nearby Tabor College in Kansas, authorities said Monday.
Alton Franklin, 19, of Dallas, Texas, was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder following the death of 26-year-old Brandon Brown of Sacramento, Calif., McPherson County Attorney David Page said. Police said Brown never regained consciousness following a fight earlier this month. He died Saturday.
Franklin made his initial court appearance Monday and is being held on $500,000 bond. A message left for his attorney wasn’t returned. A McPherson College spokesman said Franklin was a linebacker last year but wasn’t on this year’s team, and that he was suspended from school Saturday.
Franklin was arrested earlier Saturday, and the charges were upgraded after Brown died. McPherson Police Chief Robert McClarty has said more charges are possible and that the investigation is ongoing.
Brown transferred to Tabor this fall as a redshirt junior from a California college. The defensive lineman was found unresponsive early Sept. 16 after a fight outside a party in McPherson, about 25 miles from the Tabor campus in Hillsboro. He has a 3-year-old son and 7-month-old daughter.
McPherson College released a statement saying the presidents of both NAIA colleges have been in contact and are looking for answers.
“McPherson College has spent the past week trying to comprehend how such violence could occur in our community,” the statement said. “We are devastated that one of our own McPherson College students has been arrested in conjunction with this criminal act, and we pray for him and his family, as well.”
Counseling is being offered to Tabor students, and the school set up a fund to help Brown’s family.
The schools, members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, are scheduled to play each other in football Oct. 20.