Iowa woman who beat 2 children with her car sentenced to 25 years in prison for hate crimes

Nicole Poole Franklin was sentenced on Thursday to 304 months by a federal judge. This verdict will run concurrently with a 17-year sentence that Franklin received April 19 on related state charges of attempted murder, prosecutors said in a press release announcing the verdict.

Poole Franklin, 43, was involved in three separate racist incidents on December 9, 2019, according to three police departments.

According to prosecutors, Poole Franklin was driving her Jeep Grand Cherokee on Creston Avenue in Des Moines when she spotted the first child, a 12-year-old boy walking with a young family member.

Franklin said she believed they were of Middle Eastern or African descent, according to prosecutors.

Footage from the Des Moines Police Department showed that Poole Franklin deliberately ran over the leg of the 12-year-old boy, who is black, and drove away.

A witness told police the SUV “shot the engine” before the driver hit the child.

The boy’s injuries were minor, police said.

About an hour later, Poole Franklin ran over Natalia Miranda, who was 14 at the time when she went to a basketball game, according to the Clive Police Department.

This was the incident that made national headlines because Poole Franklin after her arrest told police she hit the girl because she “was Mexican.” Poole Franklin made “a number of derogatory statements about Latinos” during the interview, police said.

An hour and a half after Poole Franklin hit Miranda, West Des Moines police said she used racist slander against a clerk and customers at a grocery store and threw items at the clerk.

“Nicole Poole Franklin tried to kill two children because of the way they looked and where she thought they came from. This kind of gross racial violence and hatred has absolutely no place in this country and will not be tolerated by the Department of Justice, “said Assistant State Attorney Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Department.

In a sentencing note, her attorney, Joseph Herrold, said Poole Franklin has suffered from severe mental health problems and substance abuse throughout her life, which was exacerbated by poverty and an unstable family growing up.

“There can be no doubt that much more happened to Mrs Poole Franklin at the time of her offenses than an afternoon of acts driven solely by hatred,” the memo said.

“Although she understood the nature and quality of what she was doing and knew it was morally wrong, she was also quite clearly in the middle of an extreme schizoaffective episode that was further exacerbated by methamphetamine use, postpartum depression and the loss of rights. to his child. “

Natalia and her family were in court when Poole Franklin pleaded guilty in April. Her father, Cesar Miranda, then told CNN that his family felt sorry for Poole Franklin “because I think it’s just someone who has a lot of problems.”

“It’s just hard to believe that someone can have the heart to do it to someone, to hurt someone, just because they think you’re mexican, think you’re latino or your skin color and just think you do not deserve to be here, “said Miranda.

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