The community as a whole was shocked by the murder of Jeffrey Franklin.
It was discovered when Guilford, New York, rural firemen responded to a report of a burning house and were shocked to discover human remains within.
The deceased was recognised as adoptive youngster with impairments Jeffrey Franklin, who lived in the home.
Initially believed to be a fire victim, the authorities later discovered a tragic story that led up to the catastrophe.
The terrible murder that took place in 2017 is revealed in the episode “Things Weigh on You” of Investigation Discovery’s series “The Murder Tapes,” giving light on the evil scheme hatched by the perpetrators to escape prosecution.
Jeffrey Franklin murder: Details of the tragic crime
When he was 11 years old, Jeffrey Franklin, now 16 years old, was adopted by a Guilford couple who were unable to have children of their own.
The adoption of Jeffrey, who was deaf and had autism, was a blessing.
Despite his difficulties, Jeffrey was vivacious and adored his adoptive parents.
His turbulent life took a turn for the better after the adoption, giving him hope for a better future.
Sadly, this joy was fleeting since Jeffrey was the victim of a malicious plot that sadly ended his young and promising life.
On March 1, 2017, a house fire in Guilford was reported to the fire department.
When they got there, the double-wide caravan on State Highway 8 was engulfed in flames.
When they approached the couple, they were unaware that someone was trapped inside the blazing home.
However, they revealed that their disabled son Jeffrey was still inside when the firefighters expressly asked whether there were any potential victims.
Until they were able to rescue the small boy’s lifeless body, the firefighters fought valiantly against the blazing flames.
The authorities initially thought Jeffrey had died in the fire.
The results of the autopsy, however, revealed a different image.
No evidence of fire exposure was found when Jeffrey’s lungs were examined.
His lungs showed no signs of smoke or soot, indicating that the fire was not the cause of his demise.
Even more shockingly, the medical examiners found that Jeffrey had died before the fire started, making the firefighters’ tardy arrival irrelevant to his untimely demise.
Who was behind Jeffrey Franklin murder?
Ernest and Heather Franklin, who adopted Jeffrey Franklin, were convicted of Jeffrey’s murder.
Their Facebook posts demonstrate that Ernest and Heather constantly complained about the behaviour of their adoptive son and expressed discontent with him.
The first firefighters on the scene of the fire also told the authorities that the parents didn’t seem concerned about Jeffrey’s safety and were instead focused on saving their pet animals who were trapped inside the home.
Ernest and Heather didn’t let them know that Jeffrey was there until the firefighters insisted on it.
Furthermore, there have been claims that Ernest deliberately sent the firefighters in the wrong direction so they would have to go a longer distance to reach the stranded adolescent.
The parents allegedly believed they would not be prosecuted with murder if their son perished in an accidently set fire after they had seen the movie “Manchester By The Sea,” according to the prosecution.
Additionally, it was claimed in the ID episode “The Murder Tapes” that the couple came up with this horrific scheme once Heather learned she was expecting.
Authorities thought that before the fire started, Jeffrey was slain forcefully.
To help the fire spread throughout the caravan, Ernest Franklin lit a wood stove and left the door ajar.
Heather Franklin created a pretext to leave her house and travel to Norwich while simultaneously purchasing Benadryl.
She even took a drive around surrounding towns like Sidney, Bainbridge, and Coventry before arriving home at 2:18 in the morning.
To secure Jeffrey’s death, the parents made deliberate attempts to stall and mislead the firefighters.
The police detained Ernest and Heather Franklin and accused them of murdering Jeffrey with the help of witness accounts and the autopsy results, which showed an unnatural death.
Where are Franklin murderers now?
While Heather was out on bond in 2017, the couple gave birth to a baby boy as they awaited their trial.
Ernest and Heather both had their own court actions after being detained.
Ernest claimed he was innocent, but the jury found him guilty of murder.
He was also found guilty of setting a fire and tampering with physical evidence.
Ernest Franklin was sentenced to life in prison as a result of these convictions.
He is currently being held at the Attica Correctional Facility, and the earliest he will be eligible for parole is 2038 after serving at least 21 years behind bars.
On the other side, Heather consented to a plea agreement in which she admitted that when she left the premises on that significant day, she was aware of Ernest’s behaviour.
She was given a maximum prison sentence of seven years after pleading guilty to the charges of arson, tampering with tangible evidence, and manslaughter.
In 2025, Heather, who is now incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, will be qualified to apply for parole.
According to reports, the couple’s son is currently being looked after by his grandparents.
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