Iowa Woman Who Drove Into Two Children Because of Their Race is Sentenced to 25 Years for Hate Crime

Nicole Poole Franklin in court in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2019. (Credit…Kelsey Kremer/The Des Moines Register, via Imagn Content Services)

A white Iowa woman who admitted that she had tried to kill two children because of their race in 2019 by hitting them with her car was sentenced on Thursday to 25 years in prison on two federal hate crime charges, officials said.

The woman, Nicole Poole Franklin, 43 of Des Moines, Iowa, had already been sentenced in May to 25 years in prison on state charges of attempted murder in the attacks. The federal sentence will be served concurrently with the state term, which means, in effect, that she will spend more time in prison, according to Richard D. Westphal, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.

“Nothing can be more devastating to the American dream of equal rights” than what Ms. Poole Franklin did when she drove her car into the young victims, Mr. Westphal wrote in a sentencing memo. “Her actions temporarily shattered, but did not permanently defeat, this dream.”

Joseph Herrold, a lawyer for Ms. Poole Franklin, declined to comment.

Court documents described a harrowing pair of unprovoked attacks by Ms. Poole Franklin on Dec. 9, 2019, as she drove her Jeep Grand Cherokee by children who she believed were Middle Eastern, African or Mexican.

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SOURCE: The New York Times, Azi Paybarah

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