A white woman who said she tried to kill two children by running over them with her SUV because of their race was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in federal prison on two hate crime charges. Nicole Poole Franklin, 43 of Des Moines, Iowa, had already been sentenced to 25 years on two counts of attempted murder at the state level.
Franklin will serve the federal sentence concurrently with the state sentence, which means she will spend more time behind bars, according to Richard D. Westphal, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, the New York Times reports.
Franklin’s first attempted murder began around 3:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 2019 when she drove her Jeep Grand Cherokee by kids she assumed were Middle Eastern, African or Mexican, the Times notes., Franklin jumped the curb and hit one of the kids, who was a 12-year-old Black boy. His injuries included some pain, cuts, bruising and swelling.
An hour later, in the city of Clive, Franklin saw a 14-year-old girl walking on the sidewalk who she believed was Mexican. Again, she jumped the curb and hit the girl. The child suffered pain, cuts, bruising, swelling and a concussion.
Here is more on this story, per the Times:
Ms. Poole Franklin drove off and was arrested by the police later that day, according to a statement from the Clive Police Department. She later told investigators that she ran the girl over because she thought the girl was “a Mexican,” according to the Police Department.
In a sentencing memo pleading for leniency, Mr. Herrold said that Ms. Poole Franklin had a long history of mental illness, and had received diagnoses of schizoaffective disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. “As she entered adulthood, struggling with mental illness, substance use problems, unstable housing, and poverty, Ms. Poole Franklin began having problems with the law,” he wrote.
At her sentencing on state charges in May, Cesar Miranda, the father of the 14-year-old victim, said that he forgave Ms. Poole Franklin, though the attack left him deeply shaken, The Des Moines Register reported. “My hope disappeared,” he said, according to the newspaper. “My belief that I was free in this country was gone.”
I am sure that many people of color share that father’s feelings about America.