Charlene McFrazier

Ms. Charlene McFrazier

Charlene McFrazier easily slipped off her gold-colored earrings, but she struggled to remove her shoulder-length hair extensions as two U.S. marshals waited patiently to slip handcuffs on her wrists.

The tears apparent in her eyes as the marshals led her from an Akron federal courtroom indicate the petite 21-year-old girlfriend of Damian R. Bradford could be troubled spending at least the better part of the summer in jail.

U.S. District Court Judge David D. Dowd Jr. sent Ms. McFrazier to jail Friday after ruling she violated terms of her bond when she repeatedly talked on the phone with Bradford and spent time with his mother, Sharon.

Ms. McFrazier pleaded guilty May 23 to lying to a federal grand jury when she testified she was with her boyfriend in Beaver County the evening of May 13, 2005, when Shenango Valley urologist Dr. Gulam Moonda was killed along the Ohio Turnpike.

She will learn her sentence Aug. 24. The time she serves in the interim will count toward any further jail time she receives.

Bradford, 24, is awaiting a July 24 trial on charges he stalked Moonda from Hermitage into Ohio and then used a firearm during the crime that left the doctor dead in the passenger seat of his Jaguar from a single gunshot to the head.

In a ruling made public Friday, Dowd dealt a blow to Bradford’s defense strategy by allowing federal prosecutors to introduce phone records at his trial that they say show one of his cell phones traveled a route similar to the one Moonda, 69, took before he was killed.

Bradford’s defense attorney, Michael DeRiso, sought to keep the records out of court, claiming prosecutors obtained them illegally and that they violated Bradford’s Fourth Amendment rights by using them as a tracking device.

In his ruling, Dowd said Bradford should have had no “privacy expectation” in the information his cell phone company could retrieve. The records include at least one call his phone made to Moonda’s wife, Donna, and the location of cell towers used to transmit all calls, according to prosecutors.

Bradford and Mrs. Moonda, 47, became romantically involved after they met at a drug rehabilitation center in 2004. Mrs. Moonda was behind the wheel on May 13, 2005, when she told police she pulled their car to the side of the highway to let her husband drive. That is when a man approached the car, took Moonda’s wallet and shot him.

Dowd also denied DeRiso’s request to move Bradford’s trial from Akron either to Cleveland or Youngstown due to what DeRiso called biased and intense media coverage in the Akron area.

Before Dowd ordered Ms. McFrazier to jail, Ohio Highway Patrol Sgt. Gerald A. Funelli played portions of several recorded phone conversations she had with Bradford.

Funelli noted that Ms. McFrazier knew the calls she received from Bradford while he is at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown could be recorded because an automated message at the start of each call alerts her to that possibility.

When Bradford called his mother’s home on April 3, Funelli said Bradford’s brother took a separate call from Ms. McFrazier and then put the two phones together so the couple could talk.

The next day, Bradford spoke to Ms. McFrazier on speakerphone after he called his mother’s house, Funelli said.

“I miss you,” Bradford told her then. “I was writing you like every day.”

Ms. McFrazier told Bradford she “could be in jail for this conversation.”

“That’s f--ked up,” Bradford replied.

Funelli said records reveal Bradford talked with Ms. McFrazier a total of nine times on April 8.

Ms. McFrazier said during a May 17 conversation that “they” tried to get her to testify against Bradford at his trial.

Her court-appointed defense attorney, Albert A. Palombaro, said her plea agreement does not compel her to testify against Bradford.

Palombaro admitted in court that Ms. McFrazier violated terms of her bond. He urged Dowd not to send her to jail because none of the conversations involved discussions of her grand jury testimony or helping Bradford.

In arguing for leniency, Palombaro said Ms. McFrazier and Bradford have had a five-year relationship and that she has had little to no contact with the legal system.

Dowd said he had no choice in the matter.

“A court order is a court order,” the judge said.

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