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Case Number: 4:21-cr-00070-SMR-SHL-1
Judge: Stephanie M. Rose
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa (Polk County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office
Description: Des Moines, Iowa criminal defense lawyer represented defendant, who was charged with attempted murder.
Nicole Poole Franklin, 42, admitted driving her Jeep Grand Cherokee on Creston Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, where the first child-victim was walking along the sidewalk with another young relative. Upon seeing the children and believing that the victim was of Middle Eastern or African descent, Poole Franklin drove her vehicle over the curb towards both children, striking one of them. Poole Franklin then drove away from the scene. The assault resulted in injury to the victim, including cuts, bruising, and swelling. Approximately 30 minutes later, Poole Franklin was driving her Jeep near Indian Hills Junior High School in Clive, Iowa, where the second child-victim was walking on the sidewalk. Poole Franklin, believing that the child was Mexican, drove her vehicle over the curb and struck the victim, causing serious injury, including a concussion, bruises, and cuts. Poole Franklin again drove away from the scene but was apprehended later that day.
“Nicole Poole Franklin attempted to kill two children because she thought they came from another country,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “All people in the United States, regardless where they come from, have the right to be free from fear of violence because of who they are. The Justice Department will continue to protect the civil rights of all individuals and prosecute hate crimes, as we have done in this case.”
“Our office will vigorously pursue civil rights prosecutions against individuals, such as Ms. Poole Franklin, for hate motivated attacks,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Richard Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa. “Protecting the rights of the residents of our community, more importantly, the families and children who live here, is one of the most important functions of the United States Attorney’s Office. These young and courageous victims, whatever their race, color, religion, or national origin, should not have to fear for their safety by merely walking down the street. The message from today’s hearing should be crystal clear – this sort of hateful violence is unacceptable, and the Department of Justice will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to hold accountable all who choose to violate another’s civil rights.”
“FBI Omaha agents worked diligently with our law enforcement partners to bring Nicole Poole Franklin to justice,” said Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel of the FBI Omaha Field Office. “It’s unimaginable that violence based on race, sexual identity or religious beliefs still exists in this day and age. The FBI will not tolerate someone committing such abhorrent violence against two children, just because of the color of their skin. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to ensure that if a crime is motivated by bias, it will be investigated, and the perpetrators held responsible for their actions. We encourage everyone to report such crimes to the FBI.”
She faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the charged offenses.
This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from Des Moines and Clive Police Departments. Acting U.S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa and Trial Attorneys Katherine DeVar and Andrew Manns of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.
HATE CRIME - INCLUDING KIDNAP OR ATTEMPT TO KIDNAP, SEXUALLY ASSAULT, OR KILL 18:249(a)(1)(B)(ii) Hate Crime Act
§249. Hate crime acts
(a) In General.—
(1) Offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person—
(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and
(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—
(i) death results from the offense; or
(ii) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
(2) Offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.—
(A) In general.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person—
(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and
(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—
(I) death results from the offense; or
(II) the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.
(B) Circumstances described.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that—
(i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the defendant or the victim—
(I) across a State line or national border; or
(II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce;
(ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);
(iii) in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, dangerous weapon, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or
(iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)—
(I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct; or
(II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.
(3) Offenses occurring in the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the united states.—Whoever, within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States, engages in conduct described in paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2)(A) (without regard to whether that conduct occurred in a circumstance described in paragraph (2)(B)) shall be subject to the same penalties as prescribed in those paragraphs.
(4) Guidelines.—All prosecutions conducted by the United States under this section shall be undertaken pursuant to guidelines issued by the Attorney General, or the designee of the Attorney General, to be included in the United States Attorneys’ Manual that shall establish neutral and objective criteria for determining whether a crime was committed because of the actual or perceived status of any person.
(b) Certification Requirement.—
(1) In general.—No prosecution of any offense described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, or a designee, that—
(A) the State does not have jurisdiction;
(B) the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction;
(C) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or
(D) a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.
(2) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of Federal officers, or a Federal grand jury, to investigate possible violations of this section.
(c) Definitions.—In this section—
(1) the term “bodily injury” has the meaning given such term in section 1365(h)(4) of this title, but does not include solely emotional or psychological harm to the victim;
(2) the term “explosive or incendiary device” has the meaning given such term in section 232 of this title;
(3) the term “firearm” has the meaning given such term in section 921(a) of this title;
(4) the term “gender identity” means actual or perceived gender-related characteristics; and
(5) the term “State” includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and any other territory or possession of the United States.
(d) Statute of Limitations.—
(1) Offenses not resulting in death.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense under this section unless the indictment for such offense is found, or the information for such offense is instituted, not later than 7 years after the date on which the offense was committed.
(2) Death resulting offenses.—An indictment or information alleging that an offense un
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 304 months of incarceration as to each of Counts One and Two, to be served concurrently with each other and concurrently with the sentence imposed in the Iowa District Court for Polk County Docket Number FECR334319. A 5 year term of supervised release to follow as to each of Counts One and Two, to be served concurrently. $200 Special Assessment ($100 per count).