Willie B. Franklin Jr., a federal prisoner whose collaboration with a female jail guard resulted in her job loss and arraignment on felony charges, was arrested Sunday on a bribery charge for allegedly trying to pay a guard to contact a female working in the jail.
Franklin, 38, who has been held in solitary confinement 23 hours each day in the Macon County Jail since the arrest of the jail guard May 16, was arrested on the new charge after a male correctional officer reported an attempted bribe.
About 6 p.m. Friday, Franklin asked that officer if he would give him some information about a “newly hired female employee,” said an affidavit by correctional Sgt. Scott Flannery.
The intended target is not an employee of the sheriff’s office but was working in the jail in the vicinity of the inmate. The woman is not under suspicion of any wrongdoing.
After the correctional officer told Franklin he would not respond to his request, Franklin gave the officer a note in which he offered to pay him 5 percent of his salary if he would give him contact information.
“Everything I do, I pay up front,” Franklin allegedly wrote in his note to the jail guard.
The guard reported the incident to his command officer.
He later found a note Franklin intended to give to the female employee in a trash can. The note said that he “would fly her to wherever he would be sentenced for incarceration.”
Franklin has been held in the federal custody section of the jail for more than one year in connection with his bank robbery case. Federal authorities are planning to move him to a federal prison soon.
Because of his recent arrest for bribery, Franklin will be detained in the jail until his arraignment this week. He will then be taken to federal prison and subsequently return to Decatur for trial in the bribery case.
Franklin was sentenced May 27 to 10 years, five months in federal prison after confessing to committing five bank robberies in Illinois and Iowa in December.
During his stint in the Macon County Jail, he made contact with Penny A. Adams, a 25-year jail employee. She allegedly gave Franklin a cellphone as part of a plan to help him hide about $110,000 of his inheritance from authorities to avoid paying restitution for his crimes.
Adams, 58, was arrested May 16 and resigned from her position as a correctional officer that day. She was arraigned on a Class X felony charge of delivery of contraband by an employee and a lesser felony charge of official misconduct. She is free on bond while awaiting trial.