GA woman in 'chicken coop' child abuse case sentenced to 100+ years

Published: Dec. 8, 2015 at 6:16 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 at 3:41 PM EST
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TAYLOR COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - A heavy 190 year sentence came down on a Taylor County woman today, as an extensive child abuse trial wrapped up for Diana Franklin.

Franklin was convicted in November of 28 felonies that included locking her adopted daughter in a chicken coop naked, starving, beating her and more.

Franklin addressed judge Bobby Peters saying her freedoms have been violated, siting her and her families military careers. She also went on to compare the rules of the Taylor County jail and how she must obey them, to how she had rules for her adopted daughter who did not allegedly obey them.

The testimony angered prosecutors so much that they asked the judge for a more than 100 year sentence, saying Franklin should receive no mercy. The state also said Franklin, who is a convicted felon, is being treated better in jail than how she treated her adopted daughter.

Harsher words were in store for Franklin as testimony continued, and formal sentencing started.

"I feel like we let her down, nobody called, nobody came, she sat out there night after night, crying for help," Sheriff Jeff Watson said.

Prior to the sentence, the victim in the case addressed Franklin on the witness stand and Franklin's son testified on her behalf.

"The shed, the outhouse, whatever. No food, sometimes no clothes. I mean, your idea of disciplining a child is unheard of," Judge Bobby Peters said. "To me you're just an evil woman hiding behind a Bible."

A jury ruled that Diana Franklin is guilty in 28 counts, including aggravated assault, false imprisonment and cruelty to children on Nov. 23 following nearly two hours of deliberation.

Officials said Franklin will be held in in Taylor County for possible a few weeks until she can be transferred to the state prison.

Her husband Samuel Franklin was scheduled to face a judge for abuse charges later this month, but a possible change of venue is pushing the case back.

Check back for more updates.

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