Jury Selection Started in Movie-Inspired Murder Case in Chenango County
Jury selection is underway for a Chenango County man accused, along with his wife, of killing their adopted special-needs son and setting their house on fire after being inspired by a movie.
Ernest and Heather Franklin are accused of killing 16-year-old Jeffrey and setting their Mount Upton home on fire in March of 2017.
Prosecutors say the pair had just seen the film, Manchester by the Sea about a troubled man who is left to care for his nephew. In the film, the character is told he can’t be prosecuted for the death of his children in an accidental house fire.
The trial for 37-year-old Ernest Franklin II had been scheduled for last June but had been moved back several times.
Ernest Franklin was charged with murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. Prosecutors said the Town of Guilford man could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.