Chicken coop case: Teen allegedly wore a shock collar

Chicken coop case: Teen allegedly wore a shock collar

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Diana and Samuel Franklin of Butler, GA (Source: Taylor County Sheriff's Office) Diana and Samuel Franklin of Butler, GA (Source: Taylor County Sheriff's Office)
BUTLER, GA (WTVM) -

New details were revealed to WTVM about an adopted teenager who was allegedly kept in a chicken coop in Taylor County, GA.

According to agents at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the 15-year-old girl told authorities a shock collar for dogs was placed around her neck and used on her several times. Investigators say a remote key fob was used to shock the girl at will by anyone in control of the collar.

Agents were not able to find the collar during their initial search of the home in June, but when Debra and Samuel Franklin were arrested Tuesday morning, officials found the collar in the home.

Agents say the collar confiscated from the Franklin's home matches the description of the device that their daughter gave to authorities during an interview.

GBI agents told us that the shock collar and a leather belt were sent off to the state crime lab for DNA testing.

David Spillers lives down the road from the Franklins. He has witnessed their daughter working in the hot sun.

"I saw her when she was out in the yard working in that garden out there and I saw her around picking up trash in the yard," Spillers said.

Another neighbor who did not want to go on camera told us that Diana Franklin would often punish her daughter for not doing chores and working the "right way."

The neighbor said that Diana Franklin would only feed her daughter bread and water as punishment for days on end. The neighbor says that Diana Franklin told her that she was "doing what the Bible says."

"Mrs. Franklin hasn't denied none of it and I know it there is no doubt in my mind that she was mistreating that girl," Spillers said.

A juvenile court custody hearing for the Franklin's 15-year-old daughter will take place Thursday morning in Taylor County. Once the investigation is completed by the GBI, it will be handed over to District Attorney Julia Slater.

Diana Franklin faces 12 counts of cruelty to children and 4 counts of false imprisonment, while Samuel Franklin faces 8 counts of cruelty to children and 8 counts of false imprisonment. 

Weeks before their arrests, the girl was taken into temporary custody by the Department of Family and Child Services.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved. 

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