Video: State Police issue statement on Hopkinton killer

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Rhode Island State Police and Hopkinton Police Department Investigate Domestic Homicide Incident

The Rhode Island State Police announced today that on Friday, June 5, 2024, at approximately 11:47 pm, the Hopkinton Police Department requested State Police assistance with a potential homicide investigation at 171 Stubtown Road, Hopkinton, Rhode Island. A deceased female, identified as Stephanie Francis, age 44, was located inside the residence from an apparent gunshot wound.

Based on the investigation, Detectives identified the suspect as Joseph Francis, age 45, the estranged husband of Stephanie Francis. An arrest warrant was obtained for Joseph Francis for (1) Domestic Violence – Murder, and (2) Domestic Violence- Violation of No Contact Order. A BOLO was broadcast to all law enforcement agencies informing them of the warrant, the vehicle Mr. Francis operates, and that Mr. Francis should be considered armed and dangerous.

On Saturday, June 6, 2024, at approximately 10:50 am, Joseph Francis was observed by members of the Westerly Police Department operating his black Chevrolet Suburban on Route 1 North near the intersection of Route 78. Despite multiple attempts to stop Mr. Francis, he evaded law enforcement.

At approximately 11:36 am, Mr. Francis’s black Chevrolet Suburban was once again observed by members of law enforcement on Route 2 North in the Town of Charlestown and officers from the Richmond and Charlestown Police Departments attempted to stop the vehicle. As Mr. Francis attempted to flee, he began to travel west on Dawley Park Road at a high rate of speed. He failed to negotiate the turn at the intersection of Dawley Park Road and Nooseneck Hill Road and traveled west across both northbound lanes of Nooseneck Hill Road, subsequently rolling the vehicle over and coming to rest on its roof in the wood line.

Considering Mr. Francis to be armed and dangerous, Charlestown and Richmond officers on the scene maintained their position until the Rhode Island State Police Tactical Team affirmed the safety of the scene. Upon approach, Mr. Francis was found to be inside the vehicle and medical pronounced dead, autopsy pending.