MIAMI COUNTY — Randy Freels, who allegedly shot and killed his wife earlier this year, has been ordered by Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt to complete a competency evaluation at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio to determine if he is competent enough to stand trial.
Freels has been charged with four felony counts including murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and improperly discharging a firearm.
During his arraignment on Jan. 30, Freels entered a plea of not guilty to all the charges. The murder charge carries a sentence of 15 years to life.
Last week, Miami County Public Defender Jack Hemm filed the motion on behalf of Freels. The motion also requests an evaluation of Freels’ mental condition at the time of the offense.
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.”
Freels, 57, is accused of shooting 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. 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 more than $25,000 in a wrongful death suit in civil court.
In other court news:
• A Troy man was sentenced to serve six years in prison on Monday on one count of first-degree rape in Miami County Common Pleas Court by Judge Jeannine Pratt.
In January, Stanley Fraley, 61, of Troy, entered a plea of guilty in regard to an incident in which he later admitted to digitally raping an adult female in her home last September.
Fraley was found competent to stand trial following a psychiatric exam. He was also labeled as a Tier III sex offender.
According to police records, Fraley admitted he had assaulted the woman after he was questioned by Troy Police Department detectives.
The female victim, known to Fraley, contacted Miami County Victim Witness, and reported she had been digitally penetrated against her will by Fraley on Sept. 12. The victim told authorities Fraley asked to have sex with her and she told him no. Fraley then sexually assaulted the female while she was seated in a lift chair. Fraley allegedly then apologized and left her Troy residence.
• Daniel Fryman, 30, of West Milton, who shot and injured one of four intruders who invaded his home in September 2016 was sentenced to serve two years of community control in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Monday.
Fryman pleaded guilty to third-degree felony drug possession and tampering with evidence in connection with the investigation of the incident. Fryman was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, plus $150 in restitution to the sheriff’s office for lab tests. No charges were filed related to the shooting of one of the intruders.
In October 2017, Fryman’s home on Montgomery County Line Road was targeted for a botched armed robbery likely due to the amount of marijuana inside. Fryman allegedly tampered with surveillance cameras in and around his home during the investigation.
It was Fryman’s first felony charge on his record.
Fryman apologized for the incident and said he was “done with this lifestyle.”
Judge Christopher Gee ordered Fryman to complete a substance abuse and mental health assessment within 30 days of the sentencing hearing.
On Sept. 30, four suspects broke into Fryman’s Union Township home. During the home invasion, co-defendant Keason Twitty was shot by Fryman outside of the home on North Montgomery County Line Road. Twitty, and the three other intruders, were sentenced to serve seven years in prison for their crimes. The driver received four years in prison. Twitty appeared in court in a wheelchair from the injuries he sustained by Fryman.
Judge Gee reserved 30 months on each charge if Fryman fails to comply with the court orders and violates community control, which includes drug screens.
“I will take you at your word that you are making some changes,” Gee said.