A day before a Chenango County woman was to face a judge for a bench trial in the killing of her autistic, adopted son, the murder trial is off.


Bob Joseph/WNBF News [file][/caption]35-year-old Heather Franklin has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, arson and tampering with evidence in the death of 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin.

On March 1, 2017, the teen’s body was found in the Franklin’s burning Mount Upton home.  Officials said they believed the boy had been killed the night of February 28 when the fire was reported.

Heather Franklin was accused, along with her husband, 37-year-old Ernest Franklin II, of being inspired by the movie, “Manchester by the Sea” to kill their disabled, non-communicative son and set fire to their home to cover up the murder.  The main character in the movie is told he can't be prosecuted for murder for the death of his children in a fire he accidentally started.

Ernest Franklin was convicted March 8 in a surprisingly short murder trial that saw only a few days and took the jury only a few hours to return a verdict.

He is to be sentenced May 3 and is expected to get up to 25 years to life in prison for the murder and arson.


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