A 54-year-old man shot dead beside his truck in April had arranged to meet the suspect charged in his homicide for sex, a detective testified Thursday.
But Deleiah Diane Freeney’s defense attorney maintains she had nothing to do with the homicide, and ran away when she heard the gunshots.
Freeney, 18, is charged with murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in the April 21 slaying of Jeffrey Dean Dillon, who was shot multiple times in the back in the 2900 block of 10th Street. Police called there at 6:44 a.m. found him unresponsive on the ground.
Testifying in Columbus Recorder’s Court, police Sgt. Demetrius Battle said investigators tracked Dillon’s cell phone use, finding he had contacted Freeney overnight through a 1:47 a.m. text message and a 2:37 a.m. call, leading officers to suspect he was killed sometime between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Police found that Freeney’s profile was associated with a website that advertised sexual services, and she told investigators she had met Dillon for that purpose, Battle said. Under police questioning, she said the plan was to rob Dillon, not kill him, he testified.
Dillon was robbed of an unknown amount of cash, he said.
Battle said police have questioned others, at least one of whom picked Freeney’s picture from a photo lineup, identifying her as one of the people involved. Investigators have identified other suspects who’ve yet to be charged, he said.
Defense attorney Mark Shelnutt said authorities have failed to establish that Freeney was involved in a robbery scheme or a homicide, and he was surprised police charged her, because she has been cooperating with their investigation for at least two months.
Judge David Ranieri found probable cause to have Freeney held with bond as the case goes to Muscogee Superior Court.