Woman Sentenced For Intentionally Running Over Two Children Of Colour
A woman from Iowa has been sentenced after pleading guilty to running over two children of colour.
Nicole Poole Franklin, 43, ran over the children in her SUV in two separate racially-motivated attacks.
The white woman, from Des Moines, was sentenced on Thursday for intentionally hitting the two children, one of whom was Black and the second Latina.
The attacks took place December 2019. In April, Franklin pleaded guilty in both federal and state courts.
In a Des Moines federal court, Franklin pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the US Hate Crime Act for trying to kill the children on the basis of their race. She then pleaded guilty to two state counts of attempted murder in the same attacks, both of which took place on December 9, 2019, Des Moines Register reported.
According to prosecutors, Franklin intentionally drove onto the curb in Des Moines on the afternoon of December 9 to strike a 12-year-old Black child with her car. The attack took place at 3.54pm on the 6000 block of Creston Avenue. The boy sustained an injury to one of his legs from the attack. During her hearing, Franklin told prosecutors that she believed the boy was a member of the Islamic State terrorist group, due to him appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent.
Close after the first attack, at around 4.20pm, Franklin struck a girl on a sidewalk in the 9200 block of Indian Hills Drive, according to police complaints. The target of Franklin’s second racially-motivated attack was a 14-year-old Latina girl. The girl was subsequently hospitalised for two days due to injuries she sustained in the attack. Police reported that Franklin’s explanation for hitting the girl was because ‘she is Mexican’.
Following the racist attacks, Franklin went to a local gas station at around 5.15pm, where she threw objects at an employee while also yelling racial abuse and slurs at him and other customers. It is reported that she also began to steal items too. Police were called to the Conoco gas station on the 100 block of First Street in West Des Moines and Franklin was subsequently arrested.
A judge ruled last year that Franklin was not mentally competent enough to stand trial. Franklin claimed that she has post-traumatic stress disorder and is schizophrenic, and also said that hours before the incidents she had smoked meth. However, she was later found competent enough to finally stand trial.
The federal counts carried a possible sentence of life in prison. For the state counts, Franklin faced up to 25 years on each count of attempted murder. According to the Des Moines Register, it was not clear if other state counts, such as hate crimes, would be dropped following Franklin’s guilty plea in state court.
Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on Islamic Relations in Washington DC, told Des Moines Register how pleased the group were to hear of Franklin’s guilty plea.
We welcome this guilty plea as the culmination of a law enforcement effort to hold the perpetrator accountable.
It is our hope that the court will impose a sentence that reflects the severity of the crime, as well as the victims’ wishes.
According to the FBI, there were six hate crimes committed in Iowa during 2019.
A plea agreement made between Franklin’s attorneys and Polk County Attorney John Sarcone was accepted by Judge Scott Beattie, who said, ‘This was a heinous crime that had a tremendous impact on two young people. Nothing that I can do here will fix that.’ Prosecutors recommended that Franklin should serve 27 years in prison.
Franklin received a 25-year prison sentence for the racist attack on the young girl, and a concurrent 25-year sentence for the attack on the boy.
Prosecutors recommended that Franklin be allowed to serve her federal prison time concurrently with her state sentence. She must serve at least 17.5 years of her 25-year sentence, according to Iowa law.
Franklin will also be required by her federal sentence to serve an extra five years of probation after her prison term ends.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk.
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