Local News

Mistrial declared before Fort Wayne man’s murder trial can begin

(Photo supplied/Allen County Jail)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A mistrial was declared in the case of a man accused of killing a woman and burying her body in the basement of a house.

Franklin Dent, 38, was charged with murder and altering a death scene in connection to the death of his girlfriend , 34-year-old Jessica Fecht of Portage, Wis.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull declared a mistrial before Dent’s trial could begin because someone threatened a witness in front of the jury pool, according to our news partners at 21Alive.

Fecht’s body was found in the basement of a home she shared with Dent in the 1500 block of Sherman Boulevard, Fort Wayne, in February 2015.

A cleaning-company was emptying the house when a worker found Fecht’s body buried in a hole, the News-Sentinel reported.

A scarf was tied around her neck and cigarette butts with Dent’s DNA were found on top of her body, 21Alive reported.

The new three-day trial has been rescheduled for Aug. 9.

UPDATE: Dent’s sister, Stephanie Dent, 32, was arrested on tampering and obstruction of justice charges and booked in Allen County Jail.

RELATED: Suspicious February Death Deemed Murder; Arrest Made

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