Woman who admitted hitting Black and Latino kids with her car was racially motivated sentenced to 25 years in prison

  • An Iowa woman who ran over Black and Latino teens admitted the attack was racially motivated.

  • She pleaded guilty to 2 state charges of attempted murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

  • She also pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges and could be sentenced to life in prison.

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An Iowa woman who pleaded guilty to charges for attempting to kill two children because she thought they were of Middle Eastern, African, or Mexican descent, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, The Des Moines Register reported.

In April, Nicole Franklin, 43, pleaded to two state charges of attempted murder for the December 2019 incidents.

In a statement last month, the Justice Department also said Franklin admitted to federal hate crimes charges stemming from the same incidents.

Franklin was driving her SUV in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 9, 2019, when she saw two kids walking along the sidewalk. She believed one of the kids was of Middle Eastern or African descent and "drove her vehicle over the curb towards both children, striking one of them," according to court documents.

She drove away, and half an hour later saw a child who she thought was Mexican walking on the sidewalk near Indian Hills Junior High School in Clive, Iowa. She again drove her car over the curb and struck the child. She fled the scene but was caught later that day.

The first child suffered cuts, bruising, and swelling. The second victim, 14-year-old Natalia Miranda, suffered a concussion and severe bruising and was hospitalized for two days.

The Register reported that Franklin's attorney, Matthew Sheeley, said she was experiencing severe schizophrenia and was not taking medication for it because she was pregnant. Sheeley said Franklin had experienced severe hallucinations where she went to a hotel to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un a few days before the incidents.

Franklin had also "fallen under the spell of conservative news outlets that portrayed immigrants as invaders," the Register reported.

Sheeley said that if Franklin "would've been in Washington storming the Capitol" during the January 6 insurrection if she hadn't been in jail.

"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."

If Franklin pleads guilty to the federal hate crime charges she could also face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the charged offenses.

Her federal sentencing date is set for Aug. 19.

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