Published: Thursday, February 01, 2018 @ 6:47 AM
By: Nancy Bowman
TROY — A Union Twp. man indicted for murder in the Jan. 12 fatal shooting of his wife wants to hire a private lawyer but claims investigators wrongfully seized personal property he needs to use to pay the bill.
A motion for Randy Freels, 57, asking a Miami County judge to hold a hearing on his claim was filed Wednesday in county Common Pleas Court by Public Defender Steve Layman. The county public defenders' office has represented Freels in court hearings since his arrest Jan. 12 in the death of Samantha Freels, 52.
She was found deceased in her wrecked car off Ohio 55 in Union Twp. during a snow storm. Her death has been attributed to a gunshot wound.
Randy Freels pleaded not guilty Monday to felony murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and illegal discharge of a firearm. His bail was set at $1.5 million. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, before Judge Jeannine Pratt.
In the motion, Layman asks the court to schedule a hearing as soon as it can "to establish the validity of these claims and to ensure that defendant has access to any legitimate funds to allow him to pursue representation."
The nature of the personal property Freels is referring to was not specified in the motion. Investigators conducted a search of his vehicle and home on South Rangeline Road on Jan. 12. Information on what was seized in that search would be part of the search warrant inventory in the case. The search warrant affidavit and inventory were sealed in county Municipal Court.
A hearing date on Freels' motion had not been set late Wednesday afternoon.