Hus­band ac­cused in wife’s death drops bid for prop­erty

Mi­ami County man wanted to sell land to pay for de­fense.

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL & STATE - By Nancy Bow­man Con­tribut­ing Writer Con­tact this con­tribut­ing writer at nan­cyk­burr@aol. com.

A Mi­ami County TROY — man dropped his re­quest for re­turn of prop­erty seized by in­ves­ti­ga­tors so he could hire a pri­vate lawyer to rep­re­sent him in a case ac­cus­ing him of his wife’s Jan. 12 mur­der.

Randy Freels, 57, of Union Twp., said he needed the pro­ceeds from the prop­erty to pay for his de­fense. He has been rep­re­sented by county pub­lic de­fend­ers since his ar­rest in the death of Sa­man­tha Freels, 52. She died of a sin­gle gun­shot wound.

Pub­lic de­fender Steve King told Judge Jean­nine Pratt on Tues­day that Freels thought more prop­erty was taken than listed on a search war­rant in­ven­tory. He de­cided to drop the re­quest when he learned what was seized. Pratt ap­proved with­draw­ing the re­quest.

The case will pro­ceed with pub­lic de­fend­ers rep­re­sent­ing Freels, King said. A jury trial was set last week for April 17 in Mi­ami County Com­mon Pleas Court.

Sa­man­tha Freels’ body was found in her car, which had gone off Ohio 55 near West Mil­ton dur­ing an af­ter­noon snow storm. In­ves­ti­ga­tors ini­tially thought the death could be from a weather-related ac­ci­dent un­til a bul­let hole was found in the car.

Freels has pleaded not guilty to grand jury in­dict- ments for tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence, im­proper dis­charge of a firearm, mur­der and felo­nious as­sault. He also faces three firearms spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Sher­iff Dave Duchak said af­ter the ar­rest that in­ves­ti­ga­tors seized a num­ber of weapons dur­ing search of the Freels’ prop­erty on South Ran­ge­line Road. A search war­rant and in­ven­tory out­lin­ing what was taken was sealed by court or­der.

Freels is be­ing held in lieu of $1.5 mil­lion bail.

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