Child abuse trial for adoptive father could be postponed

Published: Nov. 24, 2015 at 11:12 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 at 3:41 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BUTLER, GA (WTVM) - The quest for justice inches one step closer for a Taylor County teen who endured five years of abuse at the hands of her adopted mother.

A Taylor County child abuse trial wrapped up for one woman, but prosecutors say they still have work to do.

A now 18-year-old girl described the term her adopted mother used when punishing her, a "sentence," starting when she was only 10 years old, and continuing for five years.

Now the only "sentence" left for Diana Franklin to serve is her own.

A jury found the punishments by the mom to be cruel and illegal, which included locking the girl naked in a chicken coop in frigid temperatures along with using a shock collar on the child, starving her to the point the young girl tried dog food to fight hunger, locking the child in various outdoor spaces during hot summer months while withholding water, and more.

Diana Franklin was convicted Monday of 28 counts of child cruelty, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.

"That's what we try to do in every case, make communities safer, and that's what our effort has been this time and we are glad it paid off," said District Attorney Julia Slater.

However, prosecutors say there is another perpetrator in the mix, Franklin's husband Samuel who is accused of sexually assaulting the girl, which is one of the reasons they believe Diana Franklin treated her adopted daughter the way she did.

"The real reason why this defendant got rid of- is because of Sam's infidelity with - not my words, her words," said prosecutor Wayne Jernigan during Monday's closing arguments.

Samuel Franklin's trial was scheduled for December, but community outrage and media attention has posed potential problems for finding an impartial jury, according to prosecutors and defense motions.

"They have filed with the Clerk of Superior court a mended motion for change of venue," said Jernigan.

Copyright WTVM 2015. All rights reserved.