The son of a Chicago fire lieutenant was allegedly killed by his own boss at a car wash on the city’s Northwest Side in June after stealing $2,200 from him, prosecutors revealed in court on Friday.
Tyler Bernicky, 25, was found dead from multiple stab wounds near his burned van on June 15 in the 7900 block of South Ingleside Avenue, police said.
Ronald Franklin, 34, Bernicky’s former boss at FX Auto Spa, appeared in court on Friday following his arrest for murder and arson in the 25-year-old's death.
Franklin was attempting to finance a takeover of the lease at FX Auto Spa, located at 1633 N. Cicero Ave., according to Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy. Bernicky allegedly sold hydraulic lifts to make extra cash, but pocketed the money instead of handing it over to Franklin, prosecutors said.
“The defendant learned the victim had sold the hydraulic lifts, and he was very upset," Murphy said. "The defendant attempted to get into contact with the victim through numerous text messages and phone calls."
Detectives used multiple video cameras to determine Franklin was in the area when Bernicky’s death occurred, according to prosecutors. A camera captured Franklin’s vehicle at a gas station at 79th Street and King Drive, where prosecutors claimed he bought toilet paper, a lighter and lighter fluid.
Citing the evidence provided by surveillance cameras and cell phone pings that placed Franklin in the area, a judge said Franklin was a threat to the public, and as a result, denied him bail.
A source previously confirmed Bernicky was the son of a lieutenant in the fire department who is stationed at a fire house near O’Hare airport.
After learning chilling details about the crime during Friday's court hearing, Bernicky’s family decided not to comment. Franklin’s next court hearing has been set for October.