UPDATE: Tallahassee man involved in 11-hour standoff failed to show up for trial

UPDATE: Tallahassee man involved in 11-hour standoff failed to show up for trial
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 4:39 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2022 at 3:51 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man involved in a lengthy standoff with police Thursday was supposed to stand trial the same day on child molestation charges, but never showed up in court.

Court records show 62-year-old Frank Copson was facing three felonies and was scheduled to stand trial on Thursday and Friday. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest at 8:56 a.m. Thursday with the notation “failed to appear for jury/non-jury trial on 8-18-2022.″

State Attorney Jack Campbell confirmed a jury had already been seated and the trial continued throughout the day Thursday without Copson in the courtroom.

“We felt it was very important to move forward for the victims,” prosecutor Brittany Fox said. “They have waited a very long time to be heard and seek justice and we wanted to seek that justice for them.”

Fox said the jury was not aware that Copson was involved in a standoff with police. Jurors were sent home Thursday afternoon and directed not to watch the news, Fox said, and then came back Friday morning to resume the trial. She said that’s when the judge informed them that Copson was dead.

According to Tallahassee Police, Copson barricaded himself inside his home on Byington Circle Thursday when officers came to arrest him. The standoff ended shortly before 2 a.m. when officers say they found Copson dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the bathroom.

Fox said Copson left a note behind apologizing to his family and saying he didn’t want to go to jail.

The case was formally closed Friday morning when the state attorney filed a notice that Copson had died.

Court records show Copson was accused of molesting two young children. If Copson had been convicted on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under 12 he would have faced 25 years to life in prison.

Update: 4:46 a.m.:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - After a little more than 11 hours, Tallahassee Police announced early Friday morning that the standoff ended with the suspect killing himself.

TPD’s Tactical Apprehension and Control (TAC) Team entered the house on Byington Circle and found 62-year-old Frank Copson held up in a bathroom. After several hours of trying to convince Copson to end the standoff and come out peacefully, TPD says Copson shot himself inside the bathroom and died on scene.

According to public records in Leon County court records, Copson was arrested in 2020 for two counts of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation on a child under 12 years old. Those allegations stemmed from January of 2002 to December 2005. Then again in January of 2008 to December of 2011.

Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.

Update: 11:00 p.m.:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Tallahassee Police and US Marshals are on the scene of an armed man barricaded in his home in northwest Tallahassee.

TPD says officers went to a home in the 2900 block of Byington Circle a little after 3 pm seeking a man who failed to appear in court for multiple counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. That’s when police say the man barricaded himself inside with a gun.

Byington Circle is off of Mission Rd. just north of Interstate-10. Nearly two dozen law enforcement vehicles have the road blocked and the neighborhood surrounded. People are urged to take alternate routes.

A SWAT truck and police tactical team are on scene and homes in the area have been evacuated out of an abundance of caution, according to TPD.

TPD says officers are working to establish communication with the suspect.

Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.