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Wake and funeral for murdered UNC Charlotte professor set this weekend

CMPD explains the scene in death of UNCC professor

A woman was found dead inside her apartment on North Kings Parade Boulevard just before noon Friday.
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A woman was found dead inside her apartment on North Kings Parade Boulevard just before noon Friday.

The funeral of a UNC Charlotte professor who is believed to have been killed by her boyfriend is planned for Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Jeannine Shante Skinner was an assistant professor of gerontology and psychology in the department of psychological sciences at UNC Charlotte.

skinner
Jeannine Shante Skinner

Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at 20th Street Church of Christ in St. Petersburg, Florida. A wake (pre-service viewing) will be Friday, 6:30-8 pm, at the same location.

Skinner’s body was found Sept. 1 in an apartment off Interstate 485 near South Tryon Street after police were called to do a welfare check in the 9300 block of Kings Parade Boulevard.

Initial information indicated the victim and suspect knew each other, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

Donny Lewis Franklin, 45, of Charlotte was later arrested and charged with 35-year-old Skinner’s murder. He has been identified by media outlets as a boyfriend.

In September 2003, Donny Franklin pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault on a female, court records show, and a charge of violating a domestic violence protective order was dismissed at that time.

Court records in North Carolina and Virginia show Franklin has a history of assault arrests dating back to 1996.

Virginia court records show Franklin was formerly a resident of Roanoke, Virginia, and was arrested there multiple times for crimes including reckless driving, assault and battery, burglary with intent to commit assault and trespassing. He was found guilty of assault and battery, burglary with intent to commit assault, trespassing and damaging a vehicle, records show.

Skinner began working at the school two years ago. Prior to working at UNCC, Skinner was an adjunct faculty member in psychology at Belmont University and Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., a UNCC spokeswoman said.

Skinner received her doctorate from Howard University in 2010, and studied at the University of Washington school of medicine. She also was a research instructor at Vanderbilt University’s medical center from 2013 to 2014.

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