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Police catch suspect in killing of UNC Charlotte professor

The body Jeannine Shante Skinner, 35, was found Friday inside an apartment in southwest Charlotte.

Jeannine Shante Skinner


Donny Lewis Franklin

UPDATE:  CMPD announced early Tuesday that its Violent Criminal Apprehension Team had located and arrested Donny Lewis Franklin, who is suspected in the killing of UNC Charlotte professor Jeannine Skinner.

Franklin was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder, CMPD said.

Read more about this case below.
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The suspect, Donny Lewis Franklin, was described by CMPD as armed and dangerous and potentially suicidal. He was last seen driving a burgundy Jeep with a license plate 0512KN.

Franklin is wanted by police in the killing of Jeannine Shante Skinner, 35. Skinner’s body was found inside an apartment in the 9300 block of Kings Parade Boulevard, which is in the Ayrsley neighborhood.

Police went to the residence after getting a call to check on the welfare of a person there. Investigators said Skinner had suffered “obvious trauma.”

Police said the killing appeared to be domestic in nature and that the victim and suspect knew one another.

According to Skinner’s Facebook page, she grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla., and studied at Howard University. She worked as a UNC Charlotte assistant professor of gerontology and psychology in the Department of Psychological Science, according to the university’s website.

In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Anita Blanchard, a friend and associate professor in psychological science, said Skinner was working to start a walking program to prevent cognitive decline for older adults dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“She was so important and had so much to give to Charlotte, and to the university, the students, to older people, to everybody,” Blanchard was quoted as saying.

Senior administration officials at UNCC learned of Skinner’s death Friday night, and the news began to spread on campus Saturday morning, UNCC spokeswoman Buffie Stephens told the Observer. Skinner began working at the school two years.

Friends posting to Skinner’s Facebook page expressed shock and sadness.

“No one deserves this. She had so much to live for,” wrote one Facebook acquaintance.

The page includes photos of Skinner and Franklin, one taken in what appears to be a church sanctuary.

Skinner’s death represented Charlotte’s 62nd homicide this year.

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