Moonda getaway

Donna Moonda runs to an SUV that spirited her away from a Christy Road home in Hermitage just before 6 p.m. Friday.

Donna Moonda ran out of her mother’s house in Hermitage Friday evening into a black sport-utility vehicle as a horde of media representatives and rubber-neckers watched.

The mad dash was made amid reports that Mrs. Moonda’s ex-lover, Damian R. Bradford, 25, of Beaver County, had agreed to implicate her in the death of her husband, Dr. Gulam Moonda.

Moonda died after a robber fired a single gunshot into his temple as he sat in the passenger seat of his luxury car along the Ohio Turnpike on May 13, 2005. Mrs. Moonda said she had pulled the car over so Moonda could drive. Her mother, Dorothy Smouse, also was in the car.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh television stations WPXI and KDKA reported Bradford has agreed to enter a guilty plea Monday, heading off a trial that was set to start that day. The media outlets cited no sources and The Herald could not confirm the reports.

Bradford’s attorney, Michael DeRiso, said he would not comment.

“As far as we’re concerned, the case is going forward Monday morning,” said Assistant U.S Attorney William J. Edwards, Cleveland. “We have no further comment.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting Bradford on charges of interstate stalking and using a firearm during the crime.

The Tribune-Review reported Bradford will plead guilty to both charges, but KDKA said he will plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy.

Moonda’s friend, Dr. Iftikhar A. Chatha, declined to comment on the reports. “We might issue a statement Monday,” he said.

Prosecutors said they had planned to call 50 witnesses to testify at Bradford’s trial, about half of whom are law enforcement personnel.

The government’s witness list also includes Mrs. Moonda, her mother, and representatives from cellular telephone companies.

Mrs. Moonda and Mrs. Smouse were the only eyewitnesses to the shooting, but neither woman provided police with a detailed description of the shooter.

Prosecutors claim they have cell phone records that not only prove Bradford and Mrs. Moonda communicated the day of the killing, but that one of Bradford’s phones traveled a route similar to the one the doctor and his wife took the day they left their Hermitage home to drive to the Toledo area.

Bradford’s girlfriend, Charlene McFrazier of Leetsdale, pleaded guilty May 23 to lying to a grand jury by providing a false alibi for Bradford the night of the killing.

The scene outside Mrs. Smouse’s modest one-story brick house at 1047 Christy Lane was chaotic Friday. A television news helicopter circled over the area as reporters waited across the street. As word spread that there had been a break in the case, which has captivated locals since the well-known urologist was killed last year, the cars began to appear on the normally quiet road in Hermitage.

As raindrops began to fall just before 6 p.m., a black GMC Envoy with tinted windows appeared in the driveway and Mrs. Moonda came out of the house, carrying a red purse and wearing a light shirt, jeans and running shoes. She hopped into the SUV, which had to wait for traffic to clear before it headed north on Christy Road and out of sight.

Afterward, the media gathered outside the Thomas D. Lambros U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse in Youngstown, but no word came of any break in the case there.

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