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TRUMBULL SLAYING Defense:No knife was found



Published: Thu, May 9, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The grand jury indicted the 23-year-old Howland man on charges of aggravated murder and kidnapping.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A defense attorney for a former police academy student facing death penalty charges says police have not yet found the murder weapon.

Atty. Walter Dragelevich said after a hearing Wednesday that police did not find a knife after searching defendant Gentry W. Freeman's home and vehicle.

Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court sealed the search warrants to the public, so it is not known what was found.

Dragelevich also added that he was not surprised that Freeman was indicted on death penalty-level charges. The Trumbull County grand jury indicted Freeman, 23, of Allenwood S.E., Howland, on Wednesday on charges of aggravated murder and kidnapping. Freeman, who attended a police academy in Niles last year, pleaded innocent.

Freeman is accused of stabbing Denise Angelo 44 times and leaving her body in a wooded area off North Road S.E. Freeman is being held in the county jail without bond.

The 1996 Howland High School graduate declined to comment during the brief hearing.

Another suspect?

"I've also heard that police may be investigating a second suspect," Dragelevich said.

Detective Gary Vingle of the city police department declined to comment.

The judge set June 7 for Freeman's next court appearance.

Angelo's body was found near a creek April 26.

The 35-year-old Warren woman was stabbed 44 times in the face, neck, chest and abdomen, with some wounds inflicted after she was dead, according to an affidavit filed with the court by the prosecutor's office.

Freeman told police he assaulted Angelo, but he denied stabbing her, the affidavit states.

What he told police

According to the affidavit, Freeman told police he was driving on Atlantic Street around 3 a.m. April 22 or April 23. He said Angelo got in his car while he was stopped at a traffic light and asked for a ride to the Park Inn in Niles.

Freeman said that when the two got near North Road Elementary School on North Road, he told her to get out of his car. He said that she yelled at him and he left, the affidavit said.

Freeman also told police he came back to the area, saw Angelo, and she continued to yell at him. He said he punched her several times, she became unconscious, and he left the area, the affidavit states.

Police said Freeman told them that he called 911 on April 26 to report that someone dumped something in the area where Angelo's body was located. When police did not arrive, Freeman called back to say he saw a body in the ditch.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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