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Quincy mother pleads not guilty to locking up son

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:43 p.m. CDT

QUINCY – A western Illinois woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of locking her 5-year-old son in their basement.

Tricia Franklin, 26, was charged with unlawful restraint in April. Quincy police said the boy was the only one home around 8 p.m. when they went to the house after a neighbor reported hearing a child yelling for help.

Detective Doug McQuern said the boy showed officers how his mother tied rope around his legs. When officers tried to take the boy out of the home, he said he couldn't leave.

"He advised us that he needed to be put back into the basement before his mom found out so he didn't get in trouble," McQuern said.

In his testimony, the detective described the filthy conditions of Franklin's basement, which included broken glass, exposed wires and a white bucket the boy used as a toilet.

The child was turned over to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Franklin has been found mentally fit to stand trial, which is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 8.

Franklin remains jailed on $20,000 bond. She faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

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