Felicia Adams-Franks and Jesse Franks are accused of withholding food and water from their adopted son while he attended school remotely in 2020. However, a law firm representing the boy and his two younger siblings says that Karreon’s death could have been prevented.
According to the Davis Law Group, an investigation revealed that an initial complaint had been made in 2017 – nearly three years before Karreon died.
Prosecutors say the children were restricted access to food and given physical punishment, but the parents’ attorneys say Karreon had medical conditions that resulted in his death.
A law firm said it intends to file a civil suit against the Washington Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) and Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) for failing to investigate the household.
Davis Law Group claims the state’s social workers assigned to the complaints never talked to Karreon, even during a visit shortly before he died the day after Thanksgiving in 2020 in a Vancouver hospital. Records show he was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 61 pounds.
“And instead of making sure to contact the boy and get the boy immediate medical attention, the state sat on its legs and essentially the boy died a week later from starvation,” Attorney Chris Davis said.
KOIN 6 reached out to the DCYF, who said they cannot comment on pending litigation.
Court documents show Jesse and Felicia turned themselves in during the spring of 2021. The couple currently face charges of domestic violence homicide and criminal mistreatment of Karreon’s two teenage brothers
The siblings – Keyonte, 17, and Kahlen, 16 – have served formal tort claims for a total of $55 million, including $25 million in Karreon’s death as well as another $15 million for both surviving children.
When KOIN 6 first covered the story in 2021, neighbors said the Franks had mentioned keeping food from their children. In court, one of the surviving brothers reportedly testified that his food was restricted and that he was locked in a room and hit with a paddle and electrical cord.
The parents’ murder and abuse trial will continue Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court.
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.