Heather Franklin, 33, and her husband, 35-year-old Ernest Franklin II were at home in Guilford, N.Y. on February 28 with their son, watching the film “Manchester by the Sea.” Within two hours of watching that movie, their 16-year-old special needs adopted son, Jeffrey Franklin, was dead. The movie tells the story of three children who die in a fire, accidentally set by their father. In the film the father isn’t charged for the deaths of the children.

According to the Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride, the parents set fire to the house and Jeffrey was later found dead in the home.

However, McBride says it was clear that the Franklin’s killed Jeffrey before setting the fire and that he did not die in the blaze. According to USA Today, it is unknown how the teenager did die.

Murder plot inspired by ‘Manchester by the Sea’

McBride said that within two hours of watching the movie, Heather Franklin left the house, driving around Delaware County and Chenango County. She did not return home until the home was completely engulfed in flames. The husband said his wife was out shopping, reportedly searching two different stores for a particular drug, when the fire accidentally started in the home. According to him, he left the house to chase after his dogs.

However the prosecution states there is no evidence to prove that Heather went to either store.

He added that Ernest was “very calm, cool and collected” at the time and had pointed to the room where his adopted son was lying. The prosecutor added that the father had no physical injuries and had clearly made no attempt to save the teenager.

Adoptive parents arrested for murder of special needs son

As reported by CBS News, the Franklins were indicted on March 28 on second-degree murder charges, along with arson and tampering with evidence.

At a bail hearing on Friday, McBride told the court that the couple had adopted the teenager in 2012 and had said Jeffrey had both mental and physical disabilities and that his special needs had placed a “very big strain” on the family relationship.

Heather Franklin’s lawyer requested a reasonable bond as she is reportedly pregnant.

Saying the mother is “innocent until proven guilty,” the lawyer reportedly that she is going through a high-risk pregnancy. He added that she lost a child to miscarriage eighteen months ago and deserves to be free to work towards her defense.

Should the adoptive parents be convicted of the murder of their special needs son, they will both face up to 25 years behind bars. Reportedly no trial date has been set as yet.

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