- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) - A Quincy woman accused of locking her 5-year-old son in their basement has pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint.

Tricia Franklin, 26, faces up to 27 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections after waiving her right to trial in a deal with prosecutors, The Quincy Herald-Whig (https://bit.ly/1tdFXch ) reported.

“The negotiation was designed in part to prevent a 5-year-old child from having to testify and to spare him the trauma of testifying against his mother,” Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones said.

The Quincy Police Department found the boy in Franklin’s basement during a well-being check on Easter Sunday. Officers were responding to a neighbor’s report of hearing a child yelling for help. Police said the child was crying and told them no one else was home.

Police entered the home and had to move a table and space heater away from the basement door to get to the boy. Quincy police detective Doug McQuern said the boy showed officers how his mother tied a rope around his legs.



Police said the boy was living in squalor. A child’s mattress without adequate bedding, a bucket the boy used as a toilet, exposed wires and broken glass were found in the basement, McQuern said.

Franklin eventually told police she left the boy in the basement because she had to go to work and she couldn’t find anyone to watch him, according to McQuern.

Franklin has been held in the Adams County Jail on $20,000 bond since her April 20 arrest. She had previously pleaded not guilty to the unlawful restraint charge.

Sentencing is scheduled for mid-December.

___

Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig, https://www.whig.com

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