Central Kentucky anti-gun violence advocate Anita Franklin dies


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Central Kentucky mother, turned anti-gun violence advocate has died.

Anita Franklin became an activist after her son, 21-year-old Antonio Franklin was shot and killed in 2014.

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She is being remembered and honored online by Lexington’s Mayor, police department and other mothers whose kids have died from gun violence.

Just two weeks ago, Franklin was speaking at a Moms Demand Action rally at the state capitol.

Her children, Laneisha Conner and Ricardo Franklin released a statement through the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Monday:

“We appreciate all the kindness and support from everyone. Our mother was loved and respected by many. She wanted to give back to those less fortunate and she loved the neighborhood in which she grew up. She made it her responsibility to make it better for everyone.”

Former Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says she was one of a kind.

She spent most of her life as a nurse, but a couple of years ago she transitioned to working with the Fayette County Sheriff.


ABC 36 News is still working to find out how she died.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com