Arson Case Spurs Franklin to Fire Lawyer

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- The lawyer now representing Aretha Franklin in the investigation of an arson fire that destroyed her $1.8 million mansion here says the singer has nothing to hide.

Franklin fired attorney Elbert Hatchett, who had advised her not to speak to investigators, and hired former Detroit U.S. attorney Saul Green.

``All she wants to do is to get a positive resolution to this,'' Green said Monday.

Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said there is ``a new discourse'' between his office and Franklin's new attorney, who met with prosecutors Monday. Gorcyca hopes to meet with Franklin by week's end.

Franklin's son, Edward, and security guard Tyrone Jarrett Sr. appeared for depositions Monday. Edward Franklin's attorney said his client invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

In January, prosecutors subpoenaed Franklin, her son, Jarrett and family friend Dr. George West. West is expected to meet with prosecutors later this week.

Gorcyca has said Franklin isn't a suspect in the Oct. 25 fire that destroyed the 10,000-square-foot home, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit.

Hatchett said the split came because he'd advised his client not to speak to investigators.

``She wanted to tell her story, to let everybody know she didn't have anything to do with it. It's just that I couldn't let her do it,'' Hatchett told the Detroit Free Press.

``She's just been twisting in the wind on this,'' he told The Detroit News. ``Her best bet is just to say nothing.''

Loading