Franklin man arrested for attack during an apparent drug deal

A Franklin man has been charged with robbing and beating up another man in an attempted drug deal.

Franklin police have filed a criminal complaint against Cleo McKinney Jr., 19, of 1130 1/2 Liberty St., for an incident that reportedly occurred Friday morning and afternoon.

The complaint says police were informed on Friday of a possible robbery that had occurred involving the purchase of a quarter ounce of marijuana from McKinney.

Police discovered that McKinney and the other man had communicated Friday morning about the drug delivery via text and Facebook messages. The messaging began about 8 a.m. and both parties agreed to meet about noon at a parking lot on Buffalo Street, police said.

When the man arrived, McKinney and another man approached him and said they needed to pick up the marijuana at another location. As they made their way to the other location and when the buyer was secluded from public view, the buyer was reportedly assaulted and choked, police said.

As the man tried to defend himself, one of the other men made a racial comment as they removed his wallet, stealing at least $500 from the man, police said. Both McKinney and the other man ran from the scene, leaving the victim on the ground, police said.

McKinney has been charged with conspiracy manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. He is also charged with felony counts of conspiracy robbery-inflict threat immediate bodily injury and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

McKinney is also charged with misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking of movable property and simple assault.