CEDAR HILL Throughout his five terms as the city's mayor, Rob Franke has been open about his stepson's battle with addiction. On Tuesday he spoke openly about his stepson's death.
Joshua Slaven, 31, was fatally shot by a homeowner as he broke into a residence located on Stoney Creek Drive around midnight Christmas Eve.
Franke says his stepson of more than 25 years has battled addiction since he was a teenager. Throughout his life, Slaven checked into numerous rehab facilities to treat his heroin addiction.
'Each time you hope for success, but each time you get a little wearier too, you are almost waiting for the other shoe to fall, waiting for something to happen,' said Franke.
He spent Christmas Eve with his family, and Franke could tell something wasn't right.
'We saw that Josh was on something, and something different,' said Franke. 'He came back later and said 'please just call the police on me.' He was scared, just different. We didn't let him in the house.'
Slaven left the family home and wandered the neighborhood. Blocks away, he broke into a neighbor's home and was shot and killed.
Franke says he doesn't want the man who shot his stepson to feel responsible.
'Josh was responsible for his actions that night, even if he was on drugs. And to put anyone in the position to have to defend their home, my heart just goes out to them,' the mayor said.
While a bullet killed his stepson, Franke says it was addiction that took his life long before that night.