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Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:45 PM
TROY — Investigators believe they have witnesses who can place a husband at the scene where his wife was found dead in a car, Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said Tuesday.
Randy Freels faces a charge of one count of murder in the death of his wife, Samantha Freels, 52, who was found in a wrecked car with a gunshot wound Friday.
Bail for Randy Freels, 57, was set at $1.5 million Tuesday in Miami County Municipal Court. He pleaded not guilty.
Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell asked Judge Gary Nasal to set “a substantial cash bond as high as the court is willing to give. This is based on his conduct and the charge itself.”
Duchak said a check of available department records to 2010 did not show any sheriff’s office calls to the Freels’ residence.
One of the witnesses told investigators she stopped on Ohio 55 around 2:50 p.m. Jan. 12 to ask a man and woman in the road if they needed assistance, then heard “six to eight popping sounds” a short time later after pulling into her nearby driveway, according to a sheriff’s office report.
The witness said the woman “appeared nervous and the male did not make eye contact with her and did not speak,” according to the report. The witness, after viewing a photograph, said she believed the woman was Samantha Freels of Union Twp.
Emergency crews were called just after 3 p.m. Friday for a report of a car into a creek in the area of Ohio 55 and Elleman Road — near where the woman had encountered the couple earlier.
Investigators initially thought the driver, Samantha Freels, died because of the crash but later found she had a gunshot wound.
A sheriff’s investigator at the scene noticed a “fresh bullet hole” on the vehicle’s trunk lid.
Randy Freels was arrested Friday evening at the couple’s home on South Rangeline Road.
Duchak said Tuesday that the investigation continues after a search of a car driven by Samantha Freels, a truck also found near the crash scene and registered to Samantha Freels and the Rangeline Road, Ludlow Falls, residence.
The sheriff said numerous weapons were found in the search of the home, including long rifles and pistols. He did not have an exact number but said it would be “in excess of 40.”
“We have several witnesses we believe will place him at the scene,” Duchak said Tuesday.
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 12:08 AM
DAYTON — A woman accused of grand theft auto said she drove off in a stolen car “because it was faster than walking,” according to a Dayton police report.
Police were called around 9:45 p.m. Friday to Church’s Chicken, 2443 N. Gettysburg Ave., after a woman said her white 2018 Chevrolet Equinox rental was stolen from the parking lot after she went inside to get food.
The rented vehicle was tracked using OnStar, and a Dayton officer was able to find it a little more than three miles away in the 100 block of North Plaza Avenue, according to a police report.
Police identified the alleged driver as 36-year-old Brittany Grandberry.
When asked why she drove the vehicle: “she stated that she walked past it and saw it was running and walked back to it. She stated that she drove the vehicle away from Church’s Chicken because it was faster than walking.”
Grandberry is due Monday in Dayton Municipal Court.
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 6:30 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 9:00 PM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 9 p.m.
A woman in her 60s was gunned down this evening when she was walking near a house targeted by a drive-by shooting, police said.
The woman, whose name was not released, was an innocent bystander who suffered at least one gunshot wound; she was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries, Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said.
“A vehicle driven by a male had another male inside the vehicle, and that male fired several rounds towards an unknown house in an attempt to probably cause damage to that house,” Coleman said.
The passenger fired five or six rounds, he said.
Aaron Taylor said the woman was his great aunt.
“I just happened to pull up, see my auntie in the grass dead,” he said.
He described his aunt as a sweet lady and matriarch of his family and the community.
“Definitely innocent bystander walking up the street,” Taylor said.
Police are searching for a silver Ford Taurus or similar four-door car, and also are asking for the public’s help to come forward with any information.
“Now this is a situation where a person was indiscriminately firing a weapon, a large-caliber weapon from what I’ve been told, at a house and a person who was innocent just happened to be walking by and got hit by a bullet that has no eyes,” Coleman said.
Police and medics were called this evening to a shooting.
The shooting was reported at 6:10 p.m. in the 800 block of North Euclid Avenue.
At least one person was shot, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.
According to initial reports, a caller heard 12 to 15 gunshots and saw a woman on the ground.
We are on the way and will update this report as we learn details.
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 11:14 PM
TURTLECREEK TWP. — Law enforcement is asking for the public’s help to find two prisoners who escaped Saturday night from the Community Correctional Center.
Deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office responded around 8:30 p.m. to the area of 5234 state Route 63, the CCC, for a report of two men running through a field. They jumped into an older model silver minivan and fled the area.
The men are identified as Daniel Hatfield Jr. and Jeremy Mink, and were confirmed to have escaped from the facility run by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, according to the sheriff’s office.
Hatfield, 27, stands 5 feet 6 inches, weighs 186 pounds, has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and a white shirt. He is sentenced to CCC after being convicted of a probation violation for drug offenses out of Butler County.
Mink 28, stands 6 feet, 1 inch, weighs 195 pounds has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and no shirt. He was sentenced to CCC after being convicted of drug offenses out of Clermont County.
Anyone with information on either man’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 513-695-1280.
Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 7:45 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 10:15 PM
TROTWOOD — UPDATE @ 10:15 p.m.
Patrols near a sobriety checkpoint Friday night in Trotwood netted two OVI arrests, the Montgomery County Combined Agency Task Force announced tonight.
More than 225 vehicles passed through the checkpoint at 4825 Salem Ave., which resulted in five citations: one for no seat belt; two for driving under suspension and two for no operator's license.
In nearby patrols, there were nine traffic stops with two OVI arrests; three citations for no seat belt; one citation for fictitious registration; and one misdemeanor summons for marijuana possession, according to the task force.
The goals of the sobriety checkpoints are to provide public awareness to the consequences of driving under the influence, reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roadways, reduce the number of alcohol-related traffic crashes, and make the roadways a safer place to travel, the task force said.
An OVI checkpoint is planned for tonight in Trotwood.
The Montgomery County Combined Agency OVI Task Force’s sobriety checkpoint starts at 8 p.m. in the 4800 block of Salem Avenue.
Ohio law requires OVI checkpoints to be publicized ahead of time.
There also will be patrols in the area of the checkpoint in addition to patrols for the “Click It or Ticket” campaign through May and June, according to the task force.