A decorated Boston police officer is facing criminal charges after allegedly firing a gun in his Hyde Park home on Christmas Eve and injuring his wife, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The officer, Korey Franklin, 32, was arraigned Wednesday in West Roxbury Municipal Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and misleading an investigator, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.
A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and he was released on personal recognizance, with orders not to leave the state without the approval of probation officers. He was also ordered to stay away from the victim, according to court documents.
He was forced to surrender all of his guns and must undergo a mental health evaluation, prosecutors said.
At the arraignment, Franklin’s attorney, Kenneth Anderson, said his client did not “intend to shoot” his wife.
Anderson said that Franklin started working as a Boston police cadet in 2007 and launched his career as a Boston officer in 2010. Anderson said his client has not been disciplined while on the force.
“I can tell you that I know Officer Franklin personally, and he has an outstanding reputation as a police officer and as an individual and human being,” Anderson said. “He cares for his wife and he loves his wife.”
According to police, at about 1 p.m. on Monday officers went to a home in Hyde Park to investigate a report that a person had been shot. They found a woman in the home who was screaming in pain and suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, according to a police report. She was taken to a hospital.
Authorities said the victim started to call 911 after being shot but was unable to finish the call, with Franklin then taking the phone. Initially, he told a dispatcher there was a person shot at their address, before calling back to say his that wife had shot herself.
Franklin also told officers responding to the scene that his wife had shot herself accidentally while trying to put the gun, which was not Franklin’s service weapon, into a safe, according to the district attorney’s office.
That statement, according to prosecutors, was contradicted by “physical aspects of the crime scene and other evidence gathered by investigators.”
“This evidence indicated that Franklin was manipulating the gun in the living room and ejected at least two live rounds of ammunition by moving its slide back and forth,” the Suffolk district attorney’s office said in a statement.
Before the gun was fired, the couple had been in an argument for “quite some time,” according to prosecutors.
The gun that was fired was lawfully owned and properly licensed, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office confirmed.
The investigation continued through Christmas Day. By Wednesday morning, investigators had determined that “there was sufficient evidence to charge Franklin with causing the victim’s injury by recklessly handling the firearm and with misleading 911 operators and police officers about the circumstances of the discharge,” according to the district attorney’s office.
Franklin is due back in court on Feb. 5, while the investigation continues.
Police Commissioner William Gross said the arrest of one of the Boston Police Department’s own officers — based on an investigation by other members of the force — shows that the department he leads can police itself.
“We take this incident, and all incidents that involve police officers, very seriously,” Gross said in a statement released Wednesday. “This arrest clearly shows that the Boston Police Department has the ability to police ourselves and that we hold our officers to the same standards as the citizens we serve and protect.”
Franklin, along with other officers, had been honored by the nonprofit Boston Police Foundation as a recipient of the Ezekiel W. Hodson Police Officer of the Year Award. The officers worked together to disarm an armed man who repeatedly pointed a handgun at them without firing a shot.
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