Davie man found guilty of murder

Published 10:07 am Thursday, December 1, 2016

The recent trial of a Davie man accused of murder was a first for Greg Brown, longtime assistant district attorney.

It was the first time he prosecuted a case where the only witnesses to the alleged crime were deceased.

A jury convicted Michael Bryan Freeman, 46, of second degree murder in the death of Michael Dean Foster, who was 51 when Freeman beat him at Freeman’s mobile home off NC 801 S. in the late hours of April 7, 2014. Foster died four days later from head injuries.

He was sentenced to 22-27 years in prison.

Freeman’s wife, Tracey, was at the mobile home that night and testified against Freeman in a probable cause hearing May 1, 2014. She died from natural causes Sept. 20, 2014.

Also in the mobile home for part of the night was Foster’s ex-wife, DyAnn Cole, who testified at the probable cause hearing that Freeman hit and choked her ex-husband, with whom she still lived at the time of the incident. Cole, a college graduate, former school teacher, and former tractor-trailer operator, died from a drug overdose Aug. 24, 2014.

Brown told the jury while the witnesses were gone, their testimonies did not go to the grave with them.

During the weeklong trial that began Nov. 14, the first six hours were spent selecting the jury of seven women, five men and two male alternates.

Disruptive behavior by Freeman punctuated the hours of testimony, and the jury was asked to leave the courtroom several times while Judge Martin McGee dealt with objections and Freeman’s antics, which included having a camera in the courtroom and the possible consumption of alcohol at lunch one day.

Freeman’s choices of attire ranged from a suit to jeans, but always included an electronic-monitoring ankle bracelet which was part of the conditions of his bond release.

Day On