A Stone County man was arrested today and charged with murder.
Nathaniel Freeman (pictured, above), 54, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, Dora Freeman, on Sept. 23.
The incident occurred at their residence near Onia in Stone County. (Click here for the original story on White River Now.)
Freeman, according to law enforcement, reported the shooting in which he was also injured. At that time, authorities say he did not indicate he had shot and killed his wife.
The affidavit of probable cause for arrest said the first time Freeman called was from the residence of 155 Lee Hill Rd. in Onia. It was at 4:36 p.m. on Sept. 23. He did not state the reason for the call, and the dispatcher believed the caller to be intoxicated. The male subject made a second call to 911 at 4:55 p.m., and this time he stated, “She shot me.”
When authorities got to the residence, they found Nathaniel Freeman lying on the kitchen floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen. On the floor next to him, Dora Freeman lay with a .22 caliber revolver in her right hand. Dora Freeman was deceased. Nathaniel was flown from the scene to UAMS in Little Rock. The Stone County Sheriff’s Department called the Arkansas State Police and asked them to investigate the case. Special Agent Justin Nowlin of the ASP Investigative division was called in to lead the investigation.
The State Medical Examiner in Little Rock said Dora Freeman died from a gunshot wound to the left rear of her head — to the rear of the left ear. The examiner said the round from the .22 handgun that killed Dora Freeman was not fired at a close range. The Examiner determined the death of Mrs. Freeman was a homicide, adding she would not have been able to manipulate the revolver after being shot in the brain. The Examiner also said the location of the wound and the trajectory of the bullet which killed Dora Freeman was inconsistent with the revolver being in Dora Freeman’s right hand, indicating it could have been placed there, according to the affidavit.
Witnesses in the case told investigators that Dora Freeman was planning on telling Nathaniel she was leaving him that day, court records note. She had been making plans for an alternate place to live. Investigators described Dora and Nathaniel Freeman as being in a “troubled” marriage, with problems resulting from how Nathaniel treated her when he was drinking alcohol. Investigators also said Nathaniel made prior statements that if Dora left him, it would be over his or her dead body.
In an interview on Sept. 30, State Police investigators met with Nathaniel Freeman at his brother’s residence. He told investigators that Dora came home that day, and the two had little to no conversation. Nathaniel said after Dora was home for a short time, she walked into the master bedroom and retrieved the .22 caliber revolver. He said she came into the kitchen, and without saying anything, shot him in the stomach. He said the revolver was in her right hand when she shot him. He said he passed out, and when he awoke, he saw her on the kitchen floor. He said he did not know she was dead and did not see the gun in her hand. He told investigators he did not touch or fire the weapon that day. Nathaniel also told investigators he was drunk that day. He denied Dora told him that day she was leaving him. Nathaniel also told police there was no one else in the residence during the shooting.
Based on their investigation, Arkansas State Police investigators asked for an arrest warrant to be issued for Nathaniel Freeman. He was charged with first-degree murder.
Circuit Judge Lee Harrod set Nathaniel Freeman’s bail at $1,000,000.
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