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Hilltown Archives The Altamont Enterprise, November 11, 2010
Jonathan Francis arrested again
By Zach Simeone
ALTAMONT A pattern is forming for Jonathan Francis.
A former lawyer and candidate for Knox Town Judge, Francis was arrested in Altamont this past weekend for burglary and criminal contempt after, police say, he broke into the home of his estranged wife on Altamont Boulevard.
This is the latest in a series of arrests for Francis, 42, of Berne. Knox court records show that, in 1991, when he was 23, Francis was arrested for falsely reporting an incident after he called a secretary at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school to report that he shot himself in the head.
Francis had a stroke, at 35, after which he “threw caution to the wind,” he told The Enterprise in 2008.
He was arrested in 2006 for assaulting his wife, and, in 2007, there was a standoff on Lewis Road where police, armed with shotguns, stood outside his house for hours after Francis called a suicide hotline threatening to kill himself and any police who came to the house. His license to practice law was revoked soon after. He said in 2008 that his last drink was the morning of that incident.
After what almost became a shootout with the police, Francis spent a few months in jail.
“You start to think,” he said in 2008 of being in jail. “That’s really what woke me up spending time in jail.” He said what he missed most when he was locked up was his family. He had been on the road to recovery since then, according to his father, Pastor Jay Francis of Knox.
Early in the morning last Saturday, Nov. 6, the Guilderland Police Department got a call about a domestic dispute at the Altamont Oaks Apartments. The police responded at about 2 a.m.
When they got there, his wife told them that Francis was “in the residence with three children and refusing to leave,” according to a release from the Guilderland Police, “and that he had made threats that he would kill any responding law enforcement officers or himself if police attempted to come into the residence.”
Francis was arrested for second-degree burglary and first-degree criminal contempt.
As of Tuesday, Pastor Francis had not spoken with his son since the arrest this weekend. His son had been in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, the pastor said, and had been doing better.
“As far as I know, he’d made progress,” said Jay Francis of his son. “This was a surprise to me. And I don’t know really anything about it except what I’ve been reading in the paper and what was on the news. I haven’t had a discussion with him or my daughter-in-law, so I don’t really know what took place.”
Francis, who is in Albany County’s jail, could not be reached for comment.
According to the arrest report, Francis was violating an order of protection by being at the residence, and was in possession of a hammer that he said he planned on using on any police who entered the home.
“The estranged wife also stated that the defendant would not come out alive,” the arrest report says.