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Not guilty plea in Franklin domestic murder arraignment; East Bridgewater man ordered held without bail



An East Bridgewater man has been ordered held without bail after entering not guilty pleas in Wrentham District Court Friday to charges that he murdered his former wife, assaulted his former mother-in-law, and set fire to the Franklin home they shared on Friday morning, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey.

Wrentham District Court Judge Scott Peterson ordered Brendon Owen, 47, held without bail and to return to WRD on January 19, 2022 for a probable cause hearing, District Attorney Morrissey said.

District Attorney Morrissey and Franklin Police Chief Thomas J. Lynch briefly addressed members of the press gathered outside the Franklin Police Department building shortly before 1 p.m. They relayed that FPD had received a 911 call at approximately 7:40 a.m. from a Grace Lane resident reporting an ongoing domestic assault at the residence of their neighbor Shirley Owen. Police arrived within 5 minutes and observed Mr. Owen inside the home. He ignored commands to open the door to police and instead exited the home through another door.

Police encountered him in the area of the garage and driveway, deploying a Taser to bring him into custody. Officers entering the building after he was under control were met by substantial smoke and fire inside the building, but were able to evacuate Shirley Owen outside. Ms. Owen showed obvious signs of major traumatic injury and was unresponsive when FPD began first aid and life support measures. She was pronounced dead at the scene after the arrival of ambulance and fire personnel.

Owen was represented by Attorney Neil Madden. He pled not guilty to murder, home invasion, kidnapping, arson of a dwelling house, and assault and battery causing serious bodily injury.

“There are children who reside in that home and officials have assured that they are safe tonight,” District Attorney Morrissey said. There was a restraining order in place against Brendon Owen today.

The Office of the Fire Marshal is also involved in the investigation of the origin of the fire, District Attorney Morrissey said.

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