'Manchester by the Sea' inspired duo to kill son

Apr 13, 2017, 01:21
'Manchester by the Sea' inspired duo to kill son

A couple indicted for allegedly killing their disabled, adoptive son and covering it up by burning their house down was inspired by the Oscar-winning movie "Manchester by the Sea", according to the prosecutor handling their case.

Hours after watching "Manchester by the Sea" on February 28, Ernest Franklin II and Heather Franklin murdered their teenage son and started a fire to cover up his death, said Chenango County District Attorney James McBride during a bail hearing for the couple. They have been accused of setting fire to their Guilford, NY, house in attempt to hide their crime.

"Manchester by the Sea" stars Casey Affleck as a grief-stricken man who, it is revealed through flashbacks, accidentally killed his children in a fire while under the influence of multiple substances.

Mid-way through the grim meditation on grief that is Oscar victor Manchester by the Sea, an accidental fire rages through a New England home, killing three young children.

Ernest Franklin said that the fire started accidentally when his wife was out shopping and that he'd left their dogs outside that night, which is why they survived.

An autopsy determined that Jeffrey Franklin was already dead by the time the fire started, McBride said.

"The victim was badly burned", McBride said during the hearing.

Casey Affleck, victor of Best Actor for Manchester by the Sea, holds his Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on February 26, 2017.

Michael Trosset, Heather Franklins attorney, told the court that shes “innocent until proven guilty.” A message left with her husbands public defender, John Cameron, wasnt immediately returned Wednesday.

McBride told the court that there was evidence that when police arrived at the scene, Ernest Franklin "was very calm, cool, collected and pointed to the room where Jeffrey was lying", McBride told the court. Heather Franklin is being held on $125,000 or $250,000 bond.

When searching for motive, McBride points to 33 year-old Heather Franklin's social media confessions, which indicated that care for Jeffrey-who had "bowel issues and he had urine control issues"-was "putting a strain on her". "Because of the damage to the body by the fire, the pathologist is not able to determine the cause of death", the attorney said.

He added the state was "charging her with murder without even knowing what caused the death".

Mrs Franklin - who is now pregnant - told investigators that she visited two shops looking for a specific medication that night.

Ernest Franklin II, 35, and Heather Franklin, 33, allegedly set their NY home on fire to cover up the death of 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin in March.

According to the Chenango County Sheriff's Office, the Mount Upton fire department and others from the area responded to the fire March 1.

Initially, it was thought that 16-year-old Jeffery Franklin died due to wounds suffered during a house fire, according to reports.