Early on Christmas morning, Cedar Hill, Texas, mayor Rob Franke received a knock on the door. Local police were there to bring him news that no parent wants to hear: His stepson had been killed. Law enforcement officials said that his 31-year-old stepson Joshua Slaven had broken into a house a few hours earlier. The homeowner told Slaven that he had a gun, but that did not seem to deter him. Feeling threatened, the homeowner shot Slaven once, killing him.
In an interview with Dallas CBS affiliate KTVT, Mayor Franke opened up about the incident and his stepson's struggle with addiction. He said that he wasn't sure why Slaven had broken in to a house, but thought that he may have been under the influence of drugs. Earlier that evening, Franke sent Slaven away from his home after he suspected that he was using illegal substances.
Like any grieving parent, Franke said that he is still overwhelmed by the entire situation.
"He was an addict, and troubled, no doubt," Franke told the source. "There was a wonderful kid inside there that we love deeply. Every parent loves their child, and you cannot get around the fact that there were these two pieces to this kid. The addict — you grow to hate that part. You grow to get weary of it. The cycle's hard."
Slaven had been struggling with alcohol and drug addiction since he was a teenager, according to his stepfather. He had recently gone through rehab and outpatient treatment, but began using again about a month before the break-in.
Franke also told the news outlet that he bears the homeowner no ill will, as he blames his stepson's addiction for his actions.