Miami County husband faces April trial date in wife’s shooting death

TROY - A jury trial is scheduled to begin April 17 in Miami County Common Pleas Court for Randy Freels, 57, of Union Twp., who faces a charge of murder in the Jan. 12 death of his wife, Samantha Freels.

The trial is scheduled for four days, according to paperwork filed this week in county Common Pleas Court.

Freels has pleaded not guilty to grand jury indictments for tampering with evidence, improper discharge of a firearm, murder and felonious assault. He also faces three firearms specifications.

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Samantha Freels, 52, died of a single gunshot wound. Her body was found in her car, which had gone off Ohio 55 near West Milton during an afternoon snow storm. Investigators initially thought the death could be from a weather-related accident until a fresh bullet hole was found in the car.

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A hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 13, on a motion by Freels for return of property he said was taken by investigators. Freels said he wants to hire a private lawyer but first needs to have property returned. The nature of that property has not been disclosed.

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Sheriff Dave Duchak said after Randy Freels’ arrest that investigators seized a number of weapons during search of Freels’ property on South Rangeline Road. A search warrant and inventory outlining what was taken was sealed by court order.

Freels is being represented by the county public defender’s office.

He is being held in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

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