Manhasset mom’s fight for justice up for Emmy

Manhasset mom’s fight for justice up for Emmy
Jacqueline Franchetti of Manhasset with her daughter Kyra at the Mary Jane Davies Green in an undated photo. A bill named after Kyra aiming at improving the family court system has been introduced into the New York State Assembly. (Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Franchetti)

An investigative series on PIX11 detailing the fight by New York mothers, including Manhasset’s Jacqueline Franchetti, to reform the state’s family court system was nominated for a New York Emmy. 

“Kyra & Autumn: Family Court Casualties” by Mary Murphy was nominated in the Best Crime News Category, according to a release from Kyra’s Champions, Franchetti’s foundation that she created following her daughter’s murder.

Mary highlighted many of the children who were murdered due to the failures of New York’s broken divorce/family court system,” Kyra’s Champions posted on Facebook. She shared their names, photos, and stories, as well as our efforts here at Kyra’s Champions to change laws to better protect other children from similar horrific fates.

Franchetti has led a fight to reform the New York justice system that let her daughter slip through the cracks.

On July 27, 2016, 2-year-old Kyra’s father shot her twice in the back while she was sleeping at his Fairfax, Va., home on an unsupervised, court-sanctioned visit. He then set the house on fire and shot himself to death.

After Kyra was killed, Franchetti founded Kyra’s Champions and the Kyra Franchetti Foundation, whose mission is to protect children in custody cases from being ordered by a court into the home of an abusive parent. 

One of the bills Franchetti has pushed for recently went to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk for her signature after it cleared both legislative chambers.

That measure, Senate Bill S6385, requires court-ordered forensic evaluations involving child custody and visitation by a licensed psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist who has completed a training program developed by the state’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

In May, Senate Bill S8578B, which prohibits certain forensic child custody evaluators from appearing as expert witnesses in Family Court, passed the Senate. It must now pass the Assembly before reaching Hochul’s desk to be signed.  

Murphy’s series also discussed the story of Zoey Pereira, a Queens 3-year-old who died in a burning car after her father Martin allegedly doused the car with gasoline and locked the doors shut with chains in May 2019.

Martin died in the hospital months later from injuries sustained in the incident, according to multiple reports.

Martin Pereira and Cherone Coleman, Zoey’s mother, were in the middle of a child custody battle during the tragedy, 

He was charged with murder, arson and reckless endangerment but never faced a judge because of his wounds, according to the Daily News. 

Murphy won her 30th Emmy Award in 2020 for her coverage of “The Junior Files” on the bodega murder of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior Guzman Feliz. 

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