Des Moines woman heading to prison, for hate crimes against children

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(Des Moines, IA) -- A Des Moines woman who admitted trying to run over two children in the Des Moines area because of their race and national origin, has been sentenced 25-years in prison. Forty-three-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin pleaded guilty to two hate crimes.

Poole-Franklin was accused of driving her SUV into two children December 9th, 2019 in Des Moines and Clive. The first child suffered minor injuries, the second ld suffered a concussion. Police arrested Franklin later that day.

The federal sentence will run concurrently with the 25-year sentence imposed in the Iowa District Court for Polk County on May 28, 2021, for two counts of attempted murder. U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose also ordered Franklin to serve five years of supervised release to follow her prison term and pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund.

Investigators say on the afternoon of December 9, 2019, Poole Franklin drove her Jeep Grand Cherokee on

Creston Avenue in Des Moines, where the first child-victim and a minor family member were

walking on the sidewalk. Franklin intentionally drover her vehicle over the curb hitting one of them, then drove away. The child suffered cuts, bruising, and swelling. Poole Franklin later stated she believed the child was “ISIS” and was going to take her out.

That same afternoon, approximately 30 minutes after the first incident, investigators say Poole Franklin drove her vehicle near Indian Hills Junior High

School in Clive, where the second child-victim was walking on the sidewalk. Poole Franklin,

drove her Jeep over the curb and struck the victim, causing serious injury, including a concussion,

bruises, and cuts.

Poole Franklin later told police she believed the minor victim was Hispanic and made comments about Hispanics “takin over . . . our homes, and our jobs,” and “wasn’t supposed to be in our country.”

Acting Southern District of Iowa United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal wrote in

his sentencing memorandum to the district court, “Nothing can be more devastating to the

American dream of equal rights than the actions of Poole Franklin on a hate filled December 9,

2019, as she callously attempted to run over and kill a 12 year old boy, and a 14 year old girl.

Two minors who had done nothing wrong other than innocently walk on a street, and happen to

be of a different race and skin color from Poole Franklin. Her actions temporarily shattered, but

did not permanently defeat this dream. Because these two courageous victims, and their amazing

families, continue to epitomize the hopes of what our society can be. Holding Poole Franklin

accountable, not only for her intentional actions, but for the malicious beliefs behind them, is what

our justice system should be, and a must to provide just punishment, afford adequate deterrence,

and protect the public from further crimes by this defendant.”

Following today’s sentencing, FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel stated,

“Nicole Poole Franklin committed a despicable crime. She targeted and seriously injured two

children because of the color of their skin. FBI Omaha will continue to work closely with our law

enforcement partners to investigate hate crimes and seek justice for the victims. We encourage

everyone to report such crimes to the FBI.”

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