Hearing on hold for Waterford man accused of drowning toddler

local@modbee.comJune 4, 2013 

— A judge Tuesday postponed a hearing until August to reschedule a trial for a Waterford man accused of murder in connection with the drowning of his girlfriend's 18-month-old daughter five years ago.

Jacob Daniel Franklin, 30, has been charged with child abuse causing death and second-degree murder. Prosecutor Michael Houston requested the postponement because he had just received new discovery evidence from the defense.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Linda McFadden told Franklin to return to court Aug. 5 to reschedule his trial or possibly discuss a plea deal. The defendant was arrested Feb. 16, 2008, and remains in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail on $1 million bail.

Authorities responded to a medical call at the home in the 400 block of North Western Avenue. Stanislaus County sheriff's officials have said the toddler was left unattended in a bathtub and drowned.

The child was taken to Oak Valley Hospital in Oakdale, where she was pronounced dead. Franklin, who was baby-sitting the child and her older brother, initially was arrested on suspicion of willful harm to a child.

Prosecutors increased the charges after an autopsy revealed injuries indicating abuse.

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