Mother Tried to Abort Twins, Daughter Testifies

A woman who gave birth to twins who later died after a botched abortion testified Friday as a key prosecution witness against her mother, who is accused of manslaughter in the death of one of the infants.

Ida Franks, 47, of Oceanside, is charged with manslaughter and child abuse in the Dec. 30, 1987, death of one of her daughter's babies, who were later placed in a trash bin.

Vickie Judkins, 24, of Oceanside, pleaded guilty to child endangerment March 21 and agreed to testify against her mother.

After Friday's preliminary hearing, San Diego Municipal Judge Robert Stahl ordered Franks to stand trial on the felony charges. He set an arraignment and trial-setting date for May 11.

Franks rolled her eyes, shook her head repeatedly and stared at her daughter continually during her testimony. At one point, she scoffed openly in court over something Judkins said.

Judkins testified that a few days before her babies' births, her mother used a Lysol-soaked straw to try to induce an abortion.

"Who else was in the room when the straw was inserted?" asked Francis Bennett, Franks' attorney.

"Just me and her," Judkins replied.

No Contractions

The daughter said the Lysol did not cause her to bleed, to feel burning or pain, and no contractions occurred.

"She said she had used it on herself years ago," Judkins said.

She said she gave birth several days later in her Oceanside apartment, with her mother there. The first baby apparently was dead because it was not moving, Judkins testified.

Judkins said her mother then decided to go to the store before the second baby was born.

"She said she was nervous and needed some beer," Judkins said.

The daughter said her mother was drunk that day. Franks shook her head emphatically at that point.

The second baby was born alive, said Judkins, but she said she thought it must have died also, because her mother wrapped up the twins' bodies in newspapers while she was in the bathroom.

Her husband, Willie Judkins, a Marine once stationed at Camp Pendleton, testified that his mother-in-law called him at the base that day, saying it was an emergency.

Willie Judkins said he arrived after the babies' births and testified that Franks said, "We had to get rid of them."

He said he suggested that they call paramedics, but that Franks vetoed the idea.

"Ida Franks said they had to be taken far away and buried," Willie Judkins said.

He said he and his mother-in-law drove away with the bodies and later disposed of them in two separate trash bins off Interstate 5.

The bodies have never been recovered.

Both women remain free on their own recognizance.

Judkins will be sentenced May 18 and could get six years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. However, Deputy Dist. Atty. Harry Elias said his office would not oppose probation.

The prosecutor said Willie Judkins will not be prosecuted.

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