Just two hours after watching the Oscar-winning film “Manchester By the Sea,” Ernest Frankly, 35, and Heather Franklin, 33, killed their 16 year old special-needs son, according to Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride of New York State. They are accused of killing their son, then setting the house on fire to cover up their heinous act. Per the New York Daily News online, “McBride claimed the couple watched the film, in which main character Lee Chandler — played by Oscar-winner Casey Affleck — accidentally burns his home down, killing his three children. Chandler is told he can’t be prosecuted for the childrens’ death because the fire was accidental.”
The alibi given to the court according to McBride is that Ernest was chasing down his lost dogs, despite there being no evidence they owned dogs. As for Heather, she said that she had been driving around town just long enough to come home and find the house engulfed in flames. In her defense, their lawyer Michael Trossett said “She already lost one child to a miscarriage a year and a half ago, she deserves to be let free and work toward defending herself.” This comes after learning that Franklin is currently undergoing a high-risk pregnancy.
Their 16 year-old adopted son, Jeffrey Franklin, was deaf and suffered from incontinence, which allegedly played a role in his demise. Multiple complaints on Heather’s Facebook were mentioned during the court hearing. Police and forensics investigated Jefferey’s autopsy, proving his death came before the fire started, and was not caused by the fire itself. Ernest Frankly and Heather Franklin plead not guilty to killing their son and their bails were set at over $100,000 each.