Iowa Woman Who Hit 2 Children With Car Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime Charges

Image via Getty/Scott Olson

An Iowa woman who injured two children with her car has pleaded guilty to hate crime charges.

The Hill reports that 43-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin told police she purposely drove her vehicle into the children because of their race. She was charged with two counts of violating the U.S. Hate Crime Act for trying to kill the children due to their skin color and could be hit with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors have suggested that Franklin should be handed a 27-year sentence in prison.

The two separate incidents happened on Dec. 9, 2019, when Franklin first struck a 12-year-old Black boy, driving onto a curb, running him over, and injuring his leg. She reportedly said she thought he was Middle Eastern and a terrorist, with a witness telling police that when operating the car, Franklin “gunned its engine” before driving into the child.

An hour later, she hit a 14-year-old girl with her vehicle, reportedly telling police she thought the girl looked “Mexican.” Police say she also “made a series of derogatory statements about Latinos.” The girl spent two days in the hospital.

Another hour-and-a-half later, Franklin went into a corner store and spewed racial slurs at an employee and customer, and threw store items at the employee. Poole says she suffers from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and reportedly told authorities she was high on meth during the hit-and-runs.

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