Woman who hit Black, Latinx children with car in racist attack sentenced

Nicole Poole Franklin was charged for intentionally driving her SUV into two children because of their race

Loading the player...

Nicole Poole Franklin, 43, pleaded guilty in April to two state charges of attempted murder for intentionally driving her SUV into two children in 2019 because she thought one was Mexican and the other was of Middle Eastern descent, The Des Moines Register reported.

An Iowa woman who pleaded guilty to attempted murder for trying to run over Black and Latino teens will spend at least 50 years in prison for the attacks.

Read More: Woman pleads guilty to hate crimes for running down Black boy, Latina girl

Prosecutors said Franklin intentionally jumped a curb in Des Moines that afternoon and struck a Black 12-year-old boy, injuring one of his legs. 

Minutes later, Franklin ran down a 14-year-old Latina girl on a sidewalk, leaving her with injuries for which she was hospitalized for two days. Police said Franklin told them she hit the girl because “she is Mexican.”

About an hour later, Franklin was arrested at a local gas station, where officers say she had thrown items at a clerk while yelling racial slurs at him and other customers, theGRIO reported.

In this undated file photo provided by the Polk County, Iowa, Jail is Nicole Poole Franklin. (Polk County Jail via AP, File)

The girl’s father, Cesar Miranda, testified in a hearing before the sentencing last week and told Poole that he forgave her. 

“I don’t hate you because I don’t want to feel what you feel to my daughter,” Miranda said. “I hope you change because human beings can never live like this.”

“I’m sorry my skin color bothered you, but me and my people are never leaving,” his daughter said during the hearing. 

Osman Sanford, the father of the injured boy, said his child became angry and aggressive after the attack, according to the report.

“I know it’s going to affect his life, so I’m just trying to help him,” Osman told the court.

Franklin was sentenced to 25 years in prison for each victim, which she will serve concurrently. In April, she also pleaded guilty to two federal hate crime charges related to the attacks and will be sentenced in August, Yahoo reports. The convictions carry possible life imprisonment.

Read More: Suspected white supremacist accused of hitting two Black women protesting Brown police shooting

Franklin has said she is schizophrenic and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Last year, a judge ruled that she wasn’t mentally competent to stand trial, but she was later restored to mental competency and ordered to face trial.

While the federal counts carry a possible life prison sentence, prosecutors recommend that Franklin be sentenced to 27 years behind bars and that her federal sentence be served at the same time as her state sentence. 

Franklin’s attorney, Matthew Sheeley, said she was not taking her medication at the time of the attack and that Franklin had “fallen under the spell of conservative news outlets that portrayed immigrants as invaders,” the Register reported.

“In her mind, these people were invading our country and taking our homes and jobs,” Sheeley said. “She was severely mentally ill, but she was not clinically insane.”

Franklin’s federal sentencing date is set for Aug. 19. 

This story contains additional reporting from The Associated Press. 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...