A woman in Iowa has been charged with attempted murder after she admitted that she ran over a 14-year-old girl intentionally because she was “a Mexican.” Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, was arrested on other charges Thursday but admitted to Clive police that she hit the girl with her car on Dec. 9, according to a news release from the Clive Police Department. Clive is about nine miles from Des Moines.
The 14-year-old girl had been struck shortly before 5 p.m. on her way to Indian Hills Jr. High School. Even though she was severely injured, the driver did not stop, and law enforcement officials asked for the public’s help in identifying the driver. While police were talking to Franklin, “she not only admitted to being the driver of the car that struck this girl, but also that she had done so intentionally. Franklin told investigators that she ran the girl over because she was, in her words, ‘a Mexican.’ She went on to make a number of derogatory statements about Latinos to the investigators,” according to the news release.
Members of the community are demanding Franklin be charged with a hate crime, but authorities say they are still investigating. For now there is no evidence to suggest the decision to hit the girl was premeditated, authorities said.
Franklin had smoked methamphetamine hours before the hit-and-run, according to court documents. The 42-year-old from Des Moines had been charged for a separate incident in which she used racist terms toward a clerk and customers at a convenience store. That took place around an hour after the hit-and-run. Hate charges are also being considered in this case.