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UPDATE: Bail denied for defendant in police shooting, escape case

Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 10:49 AM EST
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Updated Story (1/13/2021, 10:50 AM):

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A judge has denied bail for a man who police say was handcuffed when he allegedly shot a western Pennsylvania police officer three times with a gun police didn’t know he had before fleeing to West Virginia.

The Tribune-Review reports that Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Edward Borkowski said Tuesday there were no conditions that could guarantee that 22-year-old Koby Lee Francis would appear in court if released.

The McKeesport resident was returned to Pennsylvania on Friday from Clarksburg, West Virginia. He was arraigned on charges including aggravated assault, criminal attempt homicide, person not to possess a firearm, and flight to avoid apprehension trial or punishment as well as an escape charge.

Authorities said Francis had been arrested after allegedly violating a protection from abuse order Dec. 20. A video released by police shows the officer opening the door of the police vehicle outside the McKeesport station near Pittsburgh and then staggering back after police said he took fire from within the vehicle. The video shows the suspect then emerging with hands handcuffed in front of him and firing at the officer before fleeing.

The officer, who was shot three times in the neck and torso, returned fire as the suspect fled. He was treated at a hospital and released. Francis was arrested Dec. 29 at a Clarksburg apartment complex.

“Given his history of failing to appear, disregard of the (protection from abuse order) and the incident itself and flight thereafter, no condition or set of conditions would guarantee his appearance,” Borkowski said.

Original Story (01/11/2021, 2:22 PM):

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Authorities say a man who police say was handcuffed when he allegedly shot a police officer three times with a gun police didn’t know he had before fleeing to West Virginia is back in western Pennsylvania to face charges.

The Allegheny County sheriff’s office said 22-year-old Koby Lee Francis of McKeesport was brought from Clarksburg, West Virginia by Allegheny County sheriffs on Friday. He was taken into custody Dec. 29 at an apartment complex in Clarksburg after more than a week on the run.

Court documents indicate Francis was arraigned on charges including aggravated assault, criminal attempt homicide, person not to possess a firearm, and flight to avoid apprehension trial or punishment as well as an escape charge. He was denied bail and a preliminary hearing in his case is scheduled Jan. 21.

Authorities said Francis had been arrested after allegedly violating a protection from abuse order before the Dec. 20 gunfire outside the police station in McKeesport, which is located near Pittsburgh.

On a video released by police, the officer is seen opening the passenger side door of the police vehicle parked outside the station and then staggering back after police said he took fire from within the vehicle. The video shows Francis then emerging from the vehicle with hands handcuffed in front of him and firing at the officer before fleeing. The officer was treated for his wounds at a hospital.

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