PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — While a court hearing for Ruby Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt was postponed in southern Utah, a separate hearing in a Provo juvenile court took place on Monday regarding the welfare of Franke’s children.
Franke, and her now-separated husband Kevin Franke, appeared for the hearing, which served as a scheduling conference. The hearing scheduled a pretrial date for Tuesday, Oct. 17 in person and a mediation set just days prior on Oct. 11.
In the meantime, Kevin Franke’s attorney, Randy Kester, said Kevin will continue working hard for the best outcome for the children.
“We’re working hard – Kevin and I – to convince the state that he is an incredible father, as he was before all this happened,” said Kester. “He is just working hard on getting himself back in a position to be able to take these kids and raise them as a good father would.”
Ruby and Kevin Franke have been separated from each other for a little over a year now, according to Kester. Now, Kester said their goal was getting the family healed and getting the kids back with a family member, where they should be.
While speaking with reporters after Monday’s hearing, Kester said the ordeal has been a lot on children. While for the adults, he doesn’t believe anyone would care if the court hearings were open to the public, he does believe the welfare hearings should be held behind closed doors.
“These kids have been through a lot and to have all this media exposure, to them individually, as little kids who have been manipulated, yeah, I think it’s better held privately,” said Kester.
Ruby Franke’s oldest daughter, Shari, attended the welfare hearing in person as well. Kester said even should the Court rule to close future hearings to the public, Shari has a right to be there.
“She has a right to be there,” Kester told reporters. “I don’t know what the court will ultimately determine about that but I think she has a right to be part of these proceedings. She is part of the family.”
This was the second hearing regarding the welfare of the Franke children. Kester said he isn’t at liberty to talk about the first hearing with the public. According to Kester, the hearing went into a lot of detail about the kids that shouldn’t be openly discussed.