Man accused of killing wife found dead in crash after fleeing from police

Man accused of killing wife found dead in crash after fleeing from police


HOPKINTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island State Police and the Hopkinton Police Department are investigating a domestic homicide incident that occurred over the weekend.


Around 11:45 p.m. Friday, Hopkinton police reached out to state police for assistance with a possible homicide at a home on Subtown Road.

When officers arrived at the home, they found a woman, identified as 44-year-old Stephanie Francis, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

An investigation revealed the suspect as 45-year-old Joseph Francis, who is her estranged husband.

After an arrest warrant was obtained, a Be On The Lookout (BOLO) was issued for Joseph Francis and he should be considered armed and dangerous, state police said.

The Westerly Police Department spotted Joseph Francis driving on Route 1 near the intersection of Route 78 just before 11 a.m. Despite trying to stop him multiple times, he got away, according to state police.

Roughly a half-hour later, Joseph Francis was seen driving on Route 2 in Charlestown and officers once again tried to stop him as he tried to flee.

Joseph Francis was seen speeding down Dawley Park Road, state police said. When he tried to turn onto Nooseneck Hill Road, he lost control causing his car to roll over and come to rest on its roof in the woods.

State police say Joseph Francis was pronounced dead at the scene. It was later determined he took his own life, they added.

An arrest report from Hopkinton police showed the suspect was previously arrested in late May and faced firearm and domestic violence charges.

No other information about this incident is available at this time.