Millennium man is guilty of murder
Published 2:57 pm Friday, February 10, 2023
WINTON – A 25-year-old Millennium man will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the benefit of parole for the 2016 murder of a local businessman.
In last week’s session of Hertford County Superior Court, a jury found Franklin Coy Jones guilty of first degree murder. Following that verdict, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Cy Grant sentenced Jones to life in prison.
There were two other suspects in the case: Bobby Askew and Nicholas Cooper, both age 26 of Aulander. Local District Attorney Kim Scott said Askew and Cooper both accepted a plea deal to testify against Jones. They pled guilty to second degree murder.
Askew and Cooper were sentenced earlier this week on that charge. They are to spend the next 240 to 300 months (20-to-25 years) in prison, per the sentencing handed down by Judge Grant.
All three men were involved in the deadly ambush of 56-year-old Uday Manik of Conway that occurred on Sept. 29, 2016 at the intersection of NC 305 and NC 561 near Tri-County Airport. Manik was shot multiple times while behind the wheel of his vehicle sometimes after 9 p.m. on that date.
“The suspects knew that Mr. Manik, as a business owner, carried cash with him,” Scott said. “On the night of the crime, they hid near that intersection and ambushed Mr. Manik when his vehicle came to a stop at that intersection.
“What’s even sadder about this case is that while the motive of the crime was robbery, no money was stolen,” Scott added.
At the time of his murder, Manik owned the Sonoco Convenience Store (the former Red Apple Market) at the intersection of NC 11 Business and NC 305 (Commerce Street) in downtown Aulander as well as the Woodland Supermarket in that Northampton County town.
On the night of Sept. 29, 2016, Manik had closed the Sonoco Convenience Store and was en route home at the time he was ambushed and killed.
The three suspects were arrested three days later (Oct. 2, 2016). Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said his officers worked with the Bertie Sheriff’s Office and the Aulander Police to make the arrests simultaneously at different residences. Jones was taken into custody at his residence in Millennium; Askew was picked-up in Murfreesboro; and Cooper was located and arrested in Bertie County.