Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

'Manchester by the Sea' inspired duo to kill son

'Manchester by the Sea' inspired duo to kill son

(Note: The following reveals key parts of that film, Manchester by the Sea.) The district attorney says Ernest and Heather Franklin watched the movie on the night of February 28; two hours later, their house burned down with 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin inside, WBNG reports.

In speaking to the court, Heather Franklin's attorney, Michael Trosset, said, according to the transcript, "She is innocent until proven guilty". He said it's unclear if the movie, which starred Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, had any relevance.

The main character in "Manchester by the Sea" accidentally kills his children after an unattended fire burns down his home. Speaking at the Franklins' bail hearing, McBride pointed out that in the film Manchester by the Sea, Casey Affleck's character, Lee Chandler, discovers he can not be charged for the murder of his three children because the fire in his house was set by accident.

The prosecutor told a judge that Affleck's character is spared prosecution in the movie after being told a person can not be charged for an accidental crime.

Ernest Franklin II, 35, and Heather Franklin, 33, allegedly started a fire in their upstate NY home to cover up the death of 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin last month.

McBride told the court that there was evidence that when police arrived at the scene, Ernest Franklin "was very calm, cool, collected and pointed to the room where Jeffrey was lying", McBride told the court. "And the defendant had no physical injuries from any attempt to try to save him", he said.

The father told police he was away from the house chasing down the family's dogs when the fire started, officials said. Heather Franklin claimed to have been driving around from 11:30 p.m. until about 2:30 a.m., according to the report.

"That night, according to this defendant, she watched a movie called Manchester by the Sea", Mr McBride told the NY judge. "Because of the damage to the body by the fire, the pathologist is not able to determine the cause of death", the attorney said.

Bail was set at $250,000 cash for Ernest Franklin and $125,000 cash for Heather Franklin. Neither had posted bail as of Wednesday.

In Manchester, Affleck's character leaves a fire burning in his house, which results in the death of his two children.

According to the Chenango County Sheriff's Office, the Mount Upton fire department and others from the area responded to the fire March 1.

A NY couple has been charged with murdering their adopted son, and authorities say they may have gotten the idea from a film that just picked up two Oscars.

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