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New England man wanted in killing of his wife dies after vehicle flips during police chase

Police line at night

HOPKINTON, R.I. (AP) — A man wanted in the killing of his wife died over the weekend after his suburban flipped during a police chase, Rhode Island State Police said in a statement.

A warrant was issued Friday for Joseph Francis in the shooting death of his wife, Stephanie Francis, whose body was found with a gunshot wound inside their Hopkinton, Rhode Island, home. On Saturday, Westerly police spotted Joseph Francis driving and tried unsuccessfully to stop him.

About an hour later, officers from Richmond and Charlestown police departments tried to stop Francis again. During that chase, Francis failed to negotiate a turn, rolled his vehicle several times and came to a rest near some woods. Police approached the vehicle and found Francis dead inside.

Francis, who was wanted on charges of domestic violence-murder and domestic violence-violation of no contact order, was already facing charges from allegedly attacking his wife in May, according to a report from Hopkinton police. In that case, he was charged with disorderly conduct, domestic violence and domestic simple assault for allegedly pushing her, smashing her phone and yelling at her.

He was also charged with violating a state law banning high-capacity magazines after police recovered two handguns and several loaded high-capacity magazines. An order was also issued preventing him from contacting his wife.

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