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Today is Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Transvestite Found Shot to Death Near Uptown

[CHARLOTTE, NC] - A transvestite prostitute involved in a January altercation with an off-duty Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was found shot to death near uptown late Friday, investigators said.

Franklin Freeman, 35, was found lying on the sidewalk at North Church Street and Liddell Street about 10:30 p.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

Detective Harold Jackson said a motorist called 911 from a nearby pay phone after seeing a person lying by the road.

Patrol officers found Freeman, dressed in a black tank top, black skirt and white canvas shoes, bleeding and unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Jackson said.

Freeman was known to work as a prostitute in that area, but Jackson said investigators do not know whether he was working Friday night.

He would not say how many times Freeman was shot or if investigators believe he was shot where he was found. Jackson said police had no suspects Saturday.

"The only thing that we have is a body," he said. "The victim lived a dangerous lifestyle to begin with. Based on this lifestyle alone, (the shooter) could be any number of people. I'm not saying he was working as a prostitute, but if he was, that alone elevates the risk factor."

Freeman was arrested Jan. 8 after he got into a scuffle with Michael Marlow, a vice and narcotics officer at the time.

Marlow, who was off duty and in his unmarked police car, told other officers he saw someone waving frantically on the side of North Davidson Street and stopped to help, according to a police report. He said Freeman got into his car uninvited and then the two got in a shoving match. During the ruckus, the officer's car struck a fire hydrant.

Investigators later determined that shots were fired inside the police vehicle. Marlow resigned in the midst of an internal affairs investigation. He has since denied wrongdoing and said he quit because of stress and to pursue a different line of work.

Freeman, through his attorney, said he was invited into the car. He said the two argued and that's when the driver identified himself as a police officer and fired his gun at least twice.

Freeman was charged with assault on a government official and resisting an officer, but the charges were later dropped.

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