He argued that the defendants had watched "Manchester by the Sea", a film that tells the story of a man who accidentally started a fire that ultimately killed his children, on February 28 - two days after the movie's star Casey Affleck won the Oscar for best actor and director Kenneth Lonegran took home the Oscar for best original screenplay. In Manchester by the Sea, the main character accidentally starts a fire that kills his children and is told he can't be prosecuted for an accidental fire.
The Franklins are charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence.
However, an autopsy report determined that the boy had already been dead at the time of the fire, Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride said during a bail hearing last week.
During a bail hearing Friday for 33-year-old Heather Franklin and her husband, 35-year-old Ernest Franklin II, McBride said the couple adopted the boy in 2012 and said there was "a very big strain on the family relationship because of Jeffrey's special needs".
Ernest Franklin told investigators the fire started at the house accidentally while his wife was out shopping, McBride said. "Because of the damage to the body by the fire, the pathologist is not able to determine the cause of death", the attorney said.
Michael Trosset, Heather Franklins attorney, told the court that shes innocent until proven guilty. A message left with her husbands public defender, John Cameron, wasnt immediately returned Wednesday.
When police arrived, McBride said "the defendant was very calm, cool, collected and pointed to the room where Jeffrey was lying, and the defendant had no physical injuries from any attempt to try to save him". Heather Franklin claimed to have been driving around from 11:30 p.m. until about 2:30 a.m., according to the report.
An Oscar-winning movie inspired a Chenango County couple to kill their adopted son and burn down their home, a prosecutor said. He also made note of a Facebook status in which Heather Franklin complained about the "strain that he was putting on her".
Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams played a divorced couple in "Manchester by the Sea" who had lost their children in a fire.
He added the state was "charging her with murder without even knowing what caused the death". Heather Franklin is being held on $125,000 cash or $250,000 bond. "She's a high-risk pregnancy".
Heather and Ernest Franklin are now being held on bond. (Chenango County Sheriff's Department/WBNG News via AP) This undated photo provided by the Chenango County Sherriffs Office shows Ernest Franklin.
If convicted, the couple faces up to 25 years in prison.