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Ernest Franklin gets 21 to life for killing adopted son, setting home ablaze

NORWICH, N.Y. (WBNG) — A Chenango County man will spend more than two decades behind bars for killing his adopted son and setting fire to his home.

Ernest Franklin was sentenced to between 21 years and life in prison on Monday, according to the Chenango County Court clerk’s office. Franklin was found guilty by a Chenango County jury in March of murder, arson, and tampering with physical evidence.

Franklin and his wife Heather were arrested in March 2017 after the fire at their Mount Upton home that resulted in the death of their 16-year old adopted special needs son, Jeffrey.

The case drew national attention after prosecutors stated that the parents killed Jeffrey after watching the film “Manchester By The Sea,” in which a parent learns he would not be charged after accidentally burning down his home and killing his children. Prosecutors say the Franklins killed Jeffrey and then set fire to the home to cover it up.

Heather Franklin pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, arson, and tampering with physical evidence in April, one day before her bench trial was scheduled to begin. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 15.


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