Hearing in child abuse case against Ruby Franke, Jodi Hildebrandt postponed

Sep 18, 2023, 9:15 AM | Updated: 2:46 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A status review hearing scheduled for the child abuse case against Utah vlogger Ruby Franke and business partner Jodi Hildebrandt has been postponed.

Attorneys filed a stipulated motion to continue the review hearing until after Oct. 5, citing “additional time needed to review copious amounts of discovery.”

The hearing was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Monday.

Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested last month and later charged with six felony counts of aggravated child abuse after one of Franke’s children ran from Hildebrandt’s Ivins home to a neighbor’s home, knocked on the door and asked for food and water. The neighbor called 911 and told dispatch the boy was emaciated and had tape around his legs.

Both were ordered to be held without bail on Sept. 8 and will continue to be held without bail. The judge was expected to decide on bail release during Monday’s hearing.

Interest in that hearing was so high that it delayed the hearing. One of the lawyers outside the court told others even the judge was having a difficult time getting into the online hearing which, according to reports to KSL TV, had as many as 1,200 observers. People also showed up in person to watch a case that has captivated and concerned them.

Provo child welfare hearing

Earlier Monday, Franke appeared at a scheduling hearing for a child welfare case in Fourth District Court in Provo. Currently, Franke’s children are in the custody of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.

Franke’s oldest daughter, Shari Franke, attended the hearing and declined to comment through her attorney. Also in attendance was Kevin Franke, who, according to attorney Randy Kester, separated from Ruby Franke 14 months ago.

“Just what the court said, as we said in the beginning, we’re just working toward trying to get this family healed and get these kids back where they should be,” Kester said after the hearing. “They need to be with a family member, preferably Kevin, and that’s what our goal is. We’re working hard … to convince the state that he’s an incredible father as he was before all this happened and they became separated. But in the meantime, he’s just working hard on getting himself back in position to be able to take these kids and raise them as a good father would.”

An in-person pretrial conference was scheduled for Oct. 17.

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Hearing in child abuse case against Ruby Franke, Jodi Hildebrandt postponed