- In November 2020, a 15-year-old boy, who was autistic and severely developmentally delayed, died from starvation and neglect.
- Karreon Franks, who lost over 50 pounds in one year, weighed about 61 pounds when he died as a 15-year-old.
- A trial has begun against Franks’ parents who have been charged with domestic violence, homicide by abuse, and second-degree murder.
The trial has started for parents accused of starving a boy to death nearly three years ago in Washington state.
Prosecutors in opening statements this week said 15-year-old Karreon Franks weighed 61 pounds when he died from starvation and neglect, The Columbian reported.
Felicia Adams, 54, and Jesse Franks, 58, are charged with domestic violence, homicide by abuse and second-degree murder in Karreon’s death in November 2020. They are also charged with two counts of second-degree criminal mistreatment of Karreon’s two younger brothers.
Adams is the children’s aunt. She adopted them in 2012 in California and after that moved with them and Franks to Vancouver, according to prosecutors.
LAS VEGAS OFFICER GETS 12 YEARS FOR ROLE IN 3 CASINO HEISTS, STEALING NEARLY $165K
Attorneys told the Clark County Superior Court jury Wednesday that Karreon was severely developmentally delayed and autistic, and nearly nonverbal.
Attorneys for Adams and Franks said Karreon’s medical conditions were to blame for his death. Their attorneys said he had issues with digestion and difficulties keeping food down and noted aspiration pneumonia was initially listed as Karreon’s cause of death.
“Bottom line, it is always tragic when a child dies,” Franks’ defense attorney, Alyosha McClain, said in court. “In this case, it’s about trying to blame Felicia (Adams) and Jesse Franks for that death.”
On Nov. 27, 2020, Adams took Karreon to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 15 minutes later. The treating physician said he was incredibly thin and requested Child Protective Services be notified, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Erik Podhora told the jury.
Vancouver funeral home staff after receiving his body called the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office because something didn’t seem right, according to prosecutors. The medical examiner’s office later determined Karreon died of starvation and neglect.
OPERATIONS MANAGER AT LAS VEGAS STRIP RESORT ACCUSED OF STEALING $773K IN MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME
Child Protective Services workers and law enforcement responded to the family’s residence after Karreon died and took his brothers into protective custody. Podhora said their weights rebounded quickly afterward.
The couple was arrested months later and extradited from San Joaquin County, California, on fugitive from justice warrants issued by Clark County.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Podhora said evidence will show Karreon had previously been growing and maintaining a healthy weight. He was last seen by a medical provider in July 2019 and weighed 115 pounds, the prosecutor said.
Karreon’s teachers at Evergreen Public Schools described him as active with a vibrant spirit, Podhora said. But he said things took a sharp turn when his school switched to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Podhora said although there was food in the home, the boys didn’t have access to it.