MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt continued the $1.5 million bond for the Ludlow Falls man accused of murder on Monday.
Randy Freels, 57, appeared in court and was arraigned on four felony counts, including murder, by a grand jury indictment. The murder charge carries a 15 years to life sentence.
Freels entered a plea of not guilty and a pre-trial conference was set for Feb. 5 with Judge Pratt presiding.
Freels was indicted by a grand jury on Jan. 25. He has been charged with murder, felonious assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm and tampering with evidence. Three out of the four counts include gun specifications of three years each.
Freels allegedly shot and killed his wife Samantha Freels, 52, 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 on Jan. 12. Units on the scene advised the victim was not breathing. Freels’ vehicle was located in a creek, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police reports, a sergeant with the sheriff’s office noticed a fresh bullet hole in the trunk of Samantha Freels’ Kia Rio as medics attended to her. A blue Dodge truck was located several hundred feet from the scene and was also registered to Samantha Freels. Indicators of Freels’ Kia Rio not braking or decelerating as it left the road were also documented. EMS members advised Freels had a puncture wound in the left shoulder area, but believed it was caused by the crash. Upon further investigation, the sergeant observed a round hole in the back of her left arm just about the elbow, which appeared to be a bullet wound. The wound did not appear to be a close contact gunshot injury.
A neighbor advised she had seen Samantha Freels helping a white male in his 60s, believed to be her husband Randy, to her car prior to the incident. The neighbor asked if they needed help and Freels said they would be back to remove the truck from the ditch. She claimed Samantha seemed nervous and the male subject did not speak. The neighbor later said she heard six to eight “popping sounds” outside while describing the incident to her husband, but they did not observe anything.
Freels was later apprehended by the Special Response Team at his home in the 2000 block of Rangeline Road. Deputies described Freels as “talkative and friendly” during his transport to the Miami County Jail for further questioning.
He remains incarcerated at the Miami County Jail.