Woman sentenced to 190 years in prison for keeping child in filthy chicken coop

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Diana Franklin

Diana Franklin

MACON, Ga. — A Georgia woman has been sentenced to 190 years in prison on child-cruelty charges after prosecutors said she confined her adopted daughter in a chicken coop and an outhouse, tied her by the neck to a tree, and shocked her with remote-controlled electronic dog collars.

The Macon Telegraph reports that Diana Franklin was convicted last month of 19 counts of first-degree cruelty to children, eight counts of false imprisonment and one count of aggravated assault.

Franklin adopted the girl in 2007 when she was 10 years old. Social workers removed the girl from the home in Taylor County in 2012.

She said she was given a handbook on jail policies when she was confined to the facility, and she cited excerpts as she equated corrections officers to parents:

“Orders or instructions given to you by jail officers — parents — are official orders and must be obeyed promptly,” she said. “If an order seems to be unjust, obey first, then object at a later time. Rules must be obeyed regardless how unjust they are thought to be. You will be expected to obey orders immediately without any insolence or resistance whatsoever.”

Then she said: “This is a prime example of a healthy parent-child relationship.”

Franklin was accused not only of confining her daughter without food — and sometimes without clothing — in various outbuildings that included a chicken coop and an outhouse, but of beating the naked child with a belt buckle, tying her like a dog by the neck to a tree, and shocking her with remote-controlled electronic collars meant for dog training.

Assistant District Attorney Wayne Jernigan was quick to point out that Taylor County Sheriff Jeff Watson would be fired and prosecuted if he similarly abused his jail inmates.

WMAZ-TV reports that the now 18-year-old girl was present at the sentencing Tuesday.