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Testimony centers on blood stains

Published January 17. 2012 05:01PM

The murder trial of a Lansford man charged with killing his estranged wife, continued Monday in Carbon County court with a state police forensic expert finishing testimony that began last Friday.

Trooper Phillip Barletta, of the Hazleton barracks, testified to finding several blood stains in the basement of the home of Ernest Troy Freeby, 36, during a search in January 2008.

Freeby has been charged with criminal homicide and tampering with evidence. He is accused of killing his wife, Edwina Atieno Onyango, 34, in the basement of his home at 207 W. Bertsch St. and disposing of the body.

Freeby has denied the charge. Onyango's body has never been found.

Last Friday, Barletta testified about a search conducted by state police on Jan. 17, 2008, in which he found several stains of suspected blood in the basement of the home. A second search was conducted on Aug. 21, 2008, in which he found some hair in the basement area.

Barletta was cross-examined by defense attorney George Dydynsky from early Friday afternoon until President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II recessed for the day about 5 p.m. He resumed his cross-examination at 9:10 a.m. Monday and it continued past 3 p.m.

Barletta testified during the cross-examination that a laboratory analysis of the blood indicated some of the stains were not human blood.

Barletta also testified that during the second search some items were missing from the basement, including a two-by-four piece of wood that had stains on it, and some of the dirt portion of the coal bin had been removed. He said he felt that this indicated something was being covered up.

District Attorney Gary F. Dobias is scheduled to call another blood stain expert along with state police experts who examined the blood stains and did DNA analysis.

The trial, which began with jury selection on Jan. 9, is moving slowly and is expected to continue all week and probably into next week.

The trial was scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today.

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