“Suspect Awaiting Polygraph”

Christopher Bobby reports for the Warren, Ohio Tribune Chronicle. Excerpt:

WARREN – Murder defendant Gentry Freeman has agreed to take a polygraph exam that his attorney says could free him.

Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan authorized the agreement last week between prosecutors and defense attorney Sarah Kovoor.

The test will be administered sometime Wednesday by William Evans of Akron, who has previously worked with the Trumbull County prosecutor’s office. Results will be available at a later time, and since the test is stipulated, those test results could be used as evidence in Freeman’s trial scheduled for Jan. 12, 2004.

Freeman, 25, of Allenwood Avenue S.E., pleaded innocent to aggravated murder and kidnapping charges. He is accused of stabbing Denise Angelo of Warren numerous times and leaving her body in a ditch off North Road S.E. in late April 2002.

Kovoor said Freeman earlier took a polygraph, given to him by an expert who works with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department. However, Kovoor said she thinks there is another killer responsible for the murder.

Without revealing the results of that earlier, unstipulated polygraph, Kovoor said she also wants Evans to have the benefit of viewing the results of the first test. This could be a hint those results could be considered favorable to Freeman, who remains in Trumbull County Jail without bond.

Kovoor contends DNA tests done on semen and skin samples under the fingernails and found on the victim’s body have excluded her client as a suspect.

”I think police might have acted too quickly to charge someone in this case. Gentry’s story has never changed from the beginning, and there are never any inconsistencies in what he says,” Kovoor said.

Freeman reportedly said Angelo got into his car about 3 a.m. April 24, 2002, while he was stopped at a light on Atlantic Street. Angelo told him she wanted to go to her hotel room, but he refused to take her.

Freeman said he eventually dropped her off on North Road, and he told police he returned home briefly before taking a walk on North Road. Freeman said he happened upon Angelo walking on North Road and that he pushed her into a ditch and beat her unconscious.

A coroner’s report indicated the victim had 44 stab wounds from some sort of sharp object. Freeman told investigators he never stabbed her.

Freeman admitted to placing two calls to the 911 center two days after the murder, which tipped off police to finding the body.

”Gentry claims he struck the victim once and that was after she struck him. I’m convinced he picked her up and they had a fight and then he dropped her off, worrying about her later,” Kovoor said.

Kovoor said that considering the number of times Angelo was stabbed, her death could be linked to other unsolved murders in the city in which women were stabbed dozens of times.

That the defense and prosecution have stipulated to the admissibility of the lie detector “test” to be administered in this case does not confer any reliability on this invalid procedure. Polygraph results should never be admitted as evidence in a court of law.

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