Ludlow Falls man expected to plead to murder

Freels asks state to return evidence to wife’s son

By Melanie Yingst -



MIAMI COUNTY — The man of accused of murdering his wife last January plans to change his plea this week it was stated Tuesday during a final pre-trial hearing in Miami County Common Pleas Court.

Randy Freels, 57, appeared in court for the hearing with Judge Jeannine Pratt presiding. Freels was found competent to stand trial earlier this month.

Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell notified the court of a pending plea agreement with Freels and public defender Jack Hemm. Kendell stated if Freels pleads to all four felony counts, including murder, the state would recommend a sentence of 18 years to life. If Freels pleads as charged, Kendell informed the court the state would merge the murder and felonious assault charges and consolidate the gun specifications. The murder charge carries a 15 years to life sentence.

Judge Pratt ordered the change of plea hearing to be held Thursday.

Hemm said Freels plans to change his plea under the plea agreement with a stipulation the state returns all confiscated evidence, including multiple guns, to Anthony Freels, the victim’s son and administrator of her estate.

Hemm said he would explain the details of the plea agreement with Freels prior to Thursday’s hearing.

Freels has been charged with four felony counts, including murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and improperly discharging a firearm.

Freels allegedly shot and killed his 52-year-old wife, Samantha, 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. A deputy notice a bullet hole in the trunk of the car. Medics at the scene found a bullet wound while attempting to treat Samantha Freels at the scene.

Randy Freels was later apprehended by the Special Response Team at his home in the 2000 block of Rangeline Road.

In March, 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.

Freels asks state to return evidence to wife’s son

By Melanie Yingst