Columbia City man freed after plea deal in cab driver’s death

scales of justice

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A 74-year-old Indiana man has been freed after serving 14 years for the death of a South Carolina cab driver in 1961.

The State newspaper reports that Edward Freiburger, of Columbia City, Indiana, last month entered an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter, maintaining innocence but acknowledging there was enough evidence to convict him.

Freiburger was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 after being convicted of murder. Sixty-three-year-old John Orner’s bloody cab was parked in Columbia.

The key evidence against Freiburger was a gun found by a Tennessee trooper who stopped him for hitchhiking a few weeks after the killing. Forty years later, ballistics tests matched the gun to bullet fragments taken from Orner’s body.

Appeals courts ultimately ordered a new trial for Freiburger. Prosecutors opted for the deal instead.


Information from: The State,

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