NEW INFO: Bond set for husband accused of killing wife in Miami County

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 3:28 PM
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 8:47 AM

WATCH: Husband gets $1.5M bond in death of Samantha Freels. Randy Freels has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his wife who was found inside her car last Friday.

UPDATE @ 9:22 a.m. (Jan. 16):

Bond was set at $1.5 million for Randy Freels, 57, who is accused in the shooting death and crash involving his wife Samantha Freels, 52.

Randy Freels appeared for his initial arraignment via video in Miami County Municipal Court Tuesday.

UPDATE @ 8:40 a.m. (Jan. 15):

A man is charged with murder and other charges after deputies said he was involved in the shooting death and crash involving his wife Friday afternoon. 

Randy A. Freels, 57, was booked into the Miami County Jail after special response teams from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Troy police and Piqua police took him into custody around 10:30 p.m. at his home on South Rangeline Road in Union Twp. 

>> Man found in Piqua home; police investigating circumstances as suspicious

Samantha Freels, 52, of Union Twp., was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest in in a vehicle that was crashed in a creek in the area of Ohio 55 and Elleman Road around 3 p.m. Friday. 

Deputies believe Samantha Freels was shot to death in her vehicle very close to where she crashed, officials said. Deputies also said a blue Dodge pickup registered to Randy Freels went off the road near the crash scene.

“While processing what we now believed was a crime scene we received information that…Randy A. Freels…had made comments that afternoon to a third party that he expected to be in some type of shoot-out with law enforcement,” Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said in a prepared statement. 

Duchak said the special response teams responded to the Freels’ residence on South Rangeline, where Randy Freels was taken into custody without incident. 

“We believe Mr. Freels to be a suspect and do not have any evidence to indicate there were others involved. As this is an active homicide investigation we are conferring daily with Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell and his staff,” Duchak said. 

LOCAL NEWS: Miamisburg man identified in fatal crash in West Carrollton

Randy Feels remained in the Miami County Jail Monday morning on charges of murder, leaving the scene of a crash and inducing panic, jail records showed. He’s expected to appear in court Tuesday. 

Search warrants were used to search both vehicles and the Freels’ home on South Rangeline.

Samantha Freels was employed as a digital sales specialist for Cox Media Group Ohio, the parent company of WHIO-TV and Dayton Daily News. 

SAMANTHA FREELS

“Samantha (Sam) was a talented, dedicated, and beloved member of our advertising team. We are incredibly saddened by this tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to her family”, said Rob Rohr, Ohio Market Vice President and General Manager of Cox. 

Funeral services for Samantha Freels will be held Wednesday at Hale-Sarver Funeral Home, 284 N. Miami St., in West Milton at 10:30 a.m. The family also will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home Tuesday.

Anyone who may have been in the area of Ohio 55 and Elleman Friday between 3 and 3:30 p.m. and may have seen or heard anything is asked to contact the Miami County Sheriff’s Office at 937-440-9911.

UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m.

Randy Albert Freels, 57, is charged with murder in the death of his wife, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office said.

The body of 52-year-old Samantha Freels was found inside a car Friday afternoon that crashed into a creek on Ohio 55. Freels died of a gunshot wound to the chest, deputies said.

Randy Freels has been held at the Miami County Jail since Friday night.

UPDATE @ 1:55 p.m.

A 52-year-old Ludlow Falls woman found dead inside a car Friday afternoon died of a single gunshot to the chest, according to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

Samantha Freels’ husband, 57-year-old Randy Albert Freels, has been held in the Miami County Jail since Friday night on two misdemeanor charges of inducing panic and for a hit-and-run crash.

>> Man found in Piqua home; police investigating circumstances as suspicious

Samantha Freels was employed as a digital sales specialist for Cox Media Group Ohio, the parent company of WHIO-TV and Dayton Daily News.

“Samantha (Sam) was a talented, dedicated, and beloved member of our advertising team. We are incredibly saddened by this tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to her family”, said Rob Rohr, Ohio Market Vice President and General Manager of Cox. 

Person of interest in custody in death of woman found at Ohio 55 crash scene

EARLIER REPORT

Crews were dispatched around 3:10 p.m. Friday to Ohio 55 at Elleman Road around on reports of a vehicle that crashed into a creek. Evidence at the scene, however, led officials to believe Freels’ death was suspicious and more than just a crash.

The Miami County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team, along with SRTs from the Troy and Piqua police departments, went to her home on Rangeline Road, where Randy Freels was found and taken into custody without incident. 

Further investigation revealed Freels was shot to death. 

Randy Freels’ charges may change pending autopsy results, officials said.

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Deputy injured, suspect in custody after 2-hour standoff in Champaign Co.

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 6:43 PM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:10 AM

Officer hurt vid

One person is in custody and a deputy was injured after a police standoff that occurred in Champaign County Sunday evening.

>> Mother faces charges after Urbana elementary student has cocaine in system at school

Officials were called to a residence near the 100 block of East Dallas Road for a complaint around 6 p.m. When deputies arrived, a man, unrelated to the complaint call, ran, prompting officials to chase after him. 

A struggle with one of the deputies occurred after they caught up with the suspect. The deputy was hit in the forehead, reportedly with handcuffs, causing injury, officials said.

>> Two dogs die in ‘total loss’ barn fire in Clark County

With the officer down, the suspect ran inside a house on East Dallas Road with handcuffs on, barricading himself.  

Police were in a standoff outside the house for over two hours, using a bullhorn urging to get the man to come outside. He eventually was brought out of the residence in handcuffs.

The deputy was taken to a local hospital. His condition is unknown.

There were more than 20 cruisers and fire vehicles at the scene, blocking the road at U.S. 68.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Man arrested in night club double homicide ID’d

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 6:14 AM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:51 PM

Crews were dispatched around 3:40 a.m. to 1824 Lakeview Ave. at the Blue Note Jazz Club on a report of a shooting, according to Sgt. Schloss of the Dayton Police Department.

UPDATE @8:44 p.m.: The man arrested in connection to a shooting that occurred outside Rick’s Jazz Club has been identified.

James A. Davison, 24, was booked in Montgomery County Jail on two preliminary counts of murder Monday afternoon.

He is due in court Tuesday, according to the jail’s website.

Davison has a third charge, a misdemeanor for failure to appear and is due in court Wednesday.

UPDATE @ 6:23 p.m. (April 23): A 24-year-old male has been arrested on a preliminary charge of murder in the weekend shooting at a Dayton jazz club. 

>>Waffle House shooting: Man accused of killing 4 in Tennessee arrested

The man was taken into custody at an apartment complex in the 5400 block of Dovetree Boulevard in Moraine, a Dayton police spokeswoman confirmed Monday afternoon. 

He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on one count of murder, according to Sgt. Mike Godsey.

Dayton Police Detectives and the Montgomery County Prosecutors Office will meet to present the case and discuss formal charges, Godsey said.

The suspect’s name has not been released. 

According to some Web directories, the business where the shooting occurred is listed as Rick Jazz Lab.

Godsey said the public, the F.B.I. and the U.S. Marshals Service helped make the arrest possible.

We’ll update this report as we learn more.

Police said one person was taken into custody at a Moraine apartment complex in connection to the fatal shooting of two people outside a Dayton nightclub. (Chuck Hamlin/Staff)

FIRST REPORT (April 21):

Two people killed in a shooting outside a Dayton nightclub early Saturday have been identified.

Darion Harris, 29, of Dayton died at the scene and Ashley James, 28, of Dayton died of her injuries at Miami Valley Hospital, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

The shooting happened outside Rick’s Jazz Club located in the 1800 block of Lakeview Avenue  around 3:40 a.m.
The victims were a couple and had just welcomed a baby boy two months ago, family said at a vigil held Sunday evening.

The victims were found shot inside a blue Ford pickup truck outside the club, said Sgt. Thomas Schloss of the Dayton Police Department.

>>Springfield man enters plea in shooting death of pregnant girlfriend

Police are not releasing if they have any suspects at this time

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 222-STOP(7867.)

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Middletown police chief responds to mother’s allegation of officer misconduct

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 1:40 PM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 4:03 PM

Mother says her son was beat up by Middletown police officers

A mother’s post on Facebook that her son feared for his life during an arrest by Middletown police was “blown out of proportion,” Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said.

In a Facebook post attributed to LaShandra R. Tatum, Isaiah Elliott’s son, she wrote: “Middletown police did this to my son after he was in handcuffs begging for his life. He said he thought he was going to die and he kept saying yes sir to the officers. The officer touched his gun and told my son I will smoke you!!!! The prayers of the righteous availeth much! Thank you Jesus. Now direct me to a lawyer please!!!!”

But in another post, Elliott, wrote, in part: “My mama over did it…not once did I beg for my life or tell her I thought I was (going to) die…”

MORE: Teen accused in buried baby case off house arrest

When contacted by this news outlet, Elliott said: “Nothing happened.” Then he hung up the phone.

His girlfriend, who was with Elliott, also refused to comment on the phone.

Later, Elliott contacted this news outlet, at the urging of his mother, he said.

He said the officer was “very forceful” during the arrest.

Tatum said she wished she never posted anything on social media about the incident. Still, she’s seeking a lawyer because she wants to see if there’s a video available of the arrest.

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During the alleged incident, Tatum said her son asked his girlfriend to “record” what the police were doing. Instead, the girlfriend called Tatum, crying and saying police were “abusing” her son.

“He’s not some angel,” she said. “He’s a 19-year-old black boy who has issues. Thank God he’s alive.”

Tatum said she has talked to her son and told him to obey commands from police. He should have left the apartment complex as he was instructed by officers, his mother said.

Muterspaw said Tatum, or anyone who has an issue with alleged officer misconduct, should meet with him, and if they don’t trust police, they are welcome to bring a lawyer or pastor to the meeting. He said his department is “open and transparent.” Muterspaw also contacted the NAACP, Citizens Advisory Board, and the Black Ministerial Alliance to make them aware of the investigation.

He said Tatum left out “10 times the facts” in her social media post that was shared more than 1,000 times.

MORE: Martin Luther King would be ‘encouraged’ by Middletown police efforts, Middletown NAACP leader says

Muterspaw said that around 2 p.m. Wednesday, Officer Holly Owens was dispatched to a disturbance at Trinity Place Apartments. A woman who lived there told police that she didn’t want to file charges but she wanted Elliott, 19, of Cincinnati, to leave the complex.

Officers stood by while Elliott left the complex, according to Muterspaw.

Later that same day, police were called after the woman said Elliott had returned and started a fight with her before she escaped the apartment and went to the clubhouse and called the police.

She told the officers Elliott was pushing her around, Muterspaw said, but didn’t want to file charges.

The apartment management also told police they wanted Elliott trespassed off the property.

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Police then responded to the apartment for a third disturbance. This time, Officer Jordan Wagers was talking to the complainant and she went back inside the apartment to get a few things. That’s when the officer heard her scream, according to a police report.

Wagers said the woman ran outside, crying and screaming that Elliott was chasing her. Wagers stopped Elliott and told him to leave the property but he refused, according to the police report.

At that time, Wagers told Elliott he was under arrest and to put his hands behind his back, but Elliott refused, according to police. He was told several times to comply but he refused, police said.

Wagers then took Elliott to the ground and got him handcuffed, police said.

During the take down, Elliot received scrapes on his face, but declined treatment by medics and the hospital, Muterspaw said.

MORE: 13-mile police pursuit ends in Butler County

Elliott was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

On Friday, Elliott was found guilty of resisting arrest and ordered to stay away from the woman’s apartment, according to court documents.

Muterspaw said Elliott has a history of the following arrests: physical harm to a law enforcement officer (2017), criminal trespass (2017) and two counts of obstructing official business (2017).

Sgt. Earl Nelson and Sgt. Raqib Ahmed both reviewed and signed off on the incident investigation. Maj. David Birk also has approved the use of force by officers during the incident, the chief said.

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UPDATED: Oxford police troll kids busted for handing cops fake IDs

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 1:41 PM

Miami University. FILE
Miami University. FILE

This story has been updated.

Police near Miami University seized at least 16 reportedly fake IDs Friday night.

The Oxford Police Department posted an image on Twitter of the allegedly fraudulent IDs.

“We didn’t get invited to any parties so we went Uptown last night,” the department posted on Twitter. “Thanks to all those that tried to pass Fake IDs to officers last night.”

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The tweet had been shared 65 times and liked more than 1,000 times, as of this story’s publication.

The IDs appear to be from all over the nation, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Vermont, Maryland, and Maine. At least one appears to be from Ohio.

Not everyone on Twitter thought the joke was funny.

“Wow, how crappy of you to take something that is probably embarrassing and make a joke out of it,” said another. “Funny how you don’t do that for all of your arrests. What makes you so mean today?”

Chief John Jones said the IDs are “fake and do not contain legitimate information.”

“We made sure not to include someone using a borrowed real ID,” Jones said in an email. “These may have the person’s name on it, but not the correct date of birth, no social security number, a fake address from a different state, and a fake driver’s license number.”

Several individuals were charged with misdemeanor prohibited acts, the chief said.

Police departments across the country have used Twitter and other social media as a humorous outreach tool to build relationships with the community.

“We have found social media to be a great tool for connecting with our community,” Jones said. “We share the good along with the bad and I’ve had so many community members thank me for our use of social media.”

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