POINT PLEASANT — A husband and wife are dead after a domestic violence situation escalated into a murder-suicide, according to authorities.
On Sunday afternoon, officers with the Point Pleasant Police Department were called to a home in the 1900-block of North Main Street after reports of gunfire coming from the residence.
Cpt. Joe Veith of the PPPD, said upon arriving, officers had to force entry into the residence, finding Kellie Franklin, 43, and Richard Franklin, Jr., 49, in the bedroom. According to investigators, Richard shot Kellie who was pronounced dead at the scene. Richard had also shot himself but was still alive when officers entered the home.
Richard was taken to Pleasant Valley Hospital by personnel with Mason County EMS. He was later transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he died early Monday morning, according to investigators.
It appears the couple had been estranged. Both Richard and Kellie were arrested and charged with domestic battery in September by the PPPD. Veith said prior to the gunfire, it appears the couple were arguing and the situation got out of control. Veith said when the argument began, two juveniles, one a child of the couple, exited the home.
Veith said staff from the W.Va. State Police Crime Lab processed the scene. Also assisting the PPPD were deputies from the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
Also, in neighboring Meigs County, Ohio over the weekend, the suspicious death of James W. Gardner, 67, of Rutland Township, was reported. James E. Gardner, 40, the victim’s son, is wanted for questioning in the case, with local investigators calling him a “person of interest.” The search for the younger Gardner also crossed into Mason County.
For more on this, read Sarah Hawley’s story on page one.