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Police: Man accused of shooting Pa. cop while handcuffed is arrested in W.Va.

The nine-day manhunt ended at a West Virginia apartment complex Tuesday evening


By Natasha Lindstrom
The Tribune-Review, Greensburg

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — The man accused of shooting a McKeesport police officer was nabbed Tuesday evening by U.S. Marshals, bringing a nine-day manhunt to an end at a West Virginia apartment complex.

Koby Lee Francis, 22, of McKeesport was found at a Clarksburg apartment and arrested shortly after 6 p.m. in connection to the Dec. 20 shooting of Officer Geriasimo Athans, 32, outside the McKeesport police station.

Francis will remain at the North Central Regional Jail and Correctional Facility in Doddridge County until his extradition to Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Police Lt. Venerando Costa said.

Francis faces charges of aggravated assault, criminal attempt homicide, person not to possess a firearm, flight to avoid apprehension trial or punishment and escape.

Authorities had offered up to $15,000 in reward money for help leading to the apprehension of Francis, who was wearing handcuffs when he escaped.

According to court documents, Athans and another McKeesport officer took Francis into custody at about 4 p.m. Dec. 20 when Francis was accused of violating a protection from abuse order served little more than an hour earlier.

County police said Francis was searched but somehow kept a firearm. Francis is accused of using the revolver to fire at Athans as the officer attempted to remove him from the back seat of a police vehicle outside the McKeesport station.

Athans, who returned fire as Francis took off, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital with three gunshot wounds to his neck and torso.

While the search for Francis raged on, four people were charged earlier this week with helping the fugitive evade authorities.

Daniel M. Neal, 19, Gesiah N. Grigsby, 21, Justine D. Kenyatta, 20, and Jasmyn Henderson-Bracey, 25, are charged with hindering apprehension after investigators said the four were seen with Francis on security camera footage. Neal is identified in court documents as Francis’s brother.

The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office and police from McKeesport, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and West Virginia, assisted in the investigation and capture of Francis, Costa said.

(c)2020 The Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)