MIAMI COUNTY — Counsel for the Ludlow Falls man accused of murdering his wife filed a motion to request the court to issue an order for an evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial on March 15.
Miami County Public Defender Jack Hemm filed the motion on behalf of Randy Freels, 57, who allegedly shot and killed his wife, Samantha Freels, earlier this year. The motion also requests an evaluation of Freels’ mental condition at the time of the offense.
In a memo accompanying the motion, Hemm stated that during observations and attempted conversations with Freels, “it has become evident that there is at least some question regarding (Freels’) ability to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings and to assist in his defense.”
During his arraignment on Jan. 30, Freels entered a plea of not guilty to murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and illegal discharge of a firearm. Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt continued Freels’ bond of $1.5 million set in Miami County Municipal Court.
The murder charge carries a sentence of 15 years to life.
Freels allegedly shot and killed his 52-year-old wife in the area of Elleman Road and West State Route 55 in Union Township on Jan. 12.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a car off the side of the road during poor road conditions. Units on the scene advised the victim was not breathing. Samantha Freels’ vehicle was located in a creek, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Randy Freels was later apprehended by the Special Response Team at his home in the 2000 block of Rangeline Road. He remains incarcerated at the Miami County Jail.
Last month, a family member filed a civil lawsuit in Miami County Common Pleas Court against Freels.
Anthony Freels, administrator of the estate of his mother, Samantha Freels, filed the lawsuit, dated Feb. 20, seeking monetary compensation for more than $25,000 in a wrongful death suit in civil court.
Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews
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