Double Murder Trial Ends with Hung Jury

By: Lori Mitchell
By: Lori Mitchell

Jurors returned to the Allen County courtroom at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5, 2006, and advised the judge that they could not reach a verdict.

The jury was split. Half believed both defendants were guilty on all counts, and the other half believed they were not guilty due to reasonable doubt - a lack of physical evidence and a lack of credible witnesses.

Jurors heard seven days of testimony in the double murder trial of Dustin Asher and Lonnie Freeman. Both are accused of killing Kelly Johnson and Dannie Froedge then burning their bodies in Allen County in July 2005.

Deliberations began Oct. 5, 2006, at 8:40 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m. Jurors came back twice and said they were deadlocked. All but one juror told the judge that additional time would not be useful in reaching a verdict.

Defense Attorney Daniel Taylor brushed off reporters as he left the building. Although Commonwealth Attorney Clint Willis did take questions and said he is optimistic about a new trial.

"Given where he (the judge) was he the made the right ruling, but i don't know why he put the court in to make that decision," Willis said.
Asher and Freeman will be back in court on Oct. 17, 2006, for a status hearing. During that time the judge will discuss dates for a new trial and make a decision on the defendants bond

Allen Co. Murder Trials Prosecutor Interview -Click here to view the entire prosecutor interview concerning the judge’s ruling on a mistrial.


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