Updated on: 12/19/2023
The criminal trial for the parents accused of being responsible for the tragic death of a teen boy nearly three years ago has commenced in Vancouver, Washington.
Prosecutors allege that Felicia Adams and Jesse Franks subjected 15-year-old Karreon Franks to extreme neglect and starvation, as he weighed a mere 61 pounds when he passed away. Adams (54) and Franks (58) are facing charges of domestic violence, homicide by abuse, and second-degree murder in connection with Karreon’s death in November 2020.
They also face two counts of second-degree criminal mistreatment concerning Karreon’s two younger brothers.
Attorneys for Adams and Franks have argued that Karreon’s severe medical conditions, which included developmental delays and autism, contributed to his death. They pointed to digestive issues and difficulties in keeping food down, highlighting that pneumonia was initially listed as the cause of his death.
The defense attorney for Jesse Franks emphasized the tragedy of a child’s death and suggested that blaming the accused parents for it may not be justified.
The case came to light when, on November 27, 2020, Adams took Karreon to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead approximately 15 minutes later. The treating physician, upon noting Karreon’s extremely emaciated condition, promptly requested Child Protective Services’ involvement.
The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office subsequently determined that Karreon had died from starvation and neglect. After Karreon’s death, Child Protective Services and law enforcement took his younger brothers into protective custody, where their overall health made a rapid recovery.
Prosecutors allege that evidence will reveal that Karreon had been growing and maintaining a healthy weight previously, and he was last seen by a medical provider in July 2019, weighing 115 pounds. The change in circumstances for Karreon occurred when his school transitioned to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Davis Law Group currently represents Karreon Franks’ surviving siblings in a wrongful death claim against the Washington Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) and Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) for failing to promptly investigate complaints of the kids being denied food and water as a discipline measure.
The first complaint to DCYF was made 2.5 years before 15-year-old Karreon Adams-Franks died of starvation at the hands of Felicia Adams and Jesse Franks, who were supposed to be his caretakers and guardians.
The children have served formal Tort Claims on the State of Washington in the amounts of $25 Million for Karreon’s death, and $15 Million each for Keyonte (age 17) and Kahlen (age 16). All 3 claims total $55M.
Davis Law Group founder and principal attorney Chris Davis can be reached for comment on this case through Davis Law Group’s media relations team. Media requests can be directed to Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000.
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