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Victim's mother lectures killer at his sentencing

Harry William Deneen III was sentenced monday in the stabbing death of Doris

Harry William Deneen III was sentenced monday in the stabbing death of Doris

March 25, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

Her voice escalating to a scream, the mother of murder victim Doris "Amy" Frey on Monday in court addressed the man who pleaded guilty in the death of her daughter, telling him that she "didn't even get to see (her daughter's) body because of what you did."

Harry William Deneen III, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and an unrelated kidnapping charge, and was sentenced to serve two concurrent 40-year prison terms.

Giving a factual basis for the plea, Deneen told Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes that, on June 29 or June 30, 2001, he helped stab Frey, 25. "I assisted in her death," Deneen said.

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Frey's nude, decomposed body was found on July 2 at the edge of a field near Spring Mills, W.Va.

Frey was from Hagerstown, and Deneen has Hagerstown and Martinsburg addresses listed in court records. They met at Duke's Tavern, a Hagerstown bar, the night Frey died, according to police.

Frey's mother, Shianna Frey, attended the court hearing wearing a T-shirt that depicted her daughter's two sons, who are now ages 2 and 5.

Before a plea bargain is formally accepted by a judge, a victim's family members may address the court. Speaking to - and yelling at - Deneen for several minutes, Shianna Frey detailed her daughter's wounds, including 33 stab wounds.

"It didn't bother you to take her out and butcher her," she told Deneen. "I got nightmares every night. You don't."

Amy Frey willingly got into Deneen's car that night, without a clue that he would kill her and leave her body to "rot," Shianna Frey said.

"You make me sick. Amy thought you were her friend," Shianna Frey said.

Speaking to Judge Wilkes, Shianna Frey asked that he order Deneen to be placed in a maximum security prison far from his family, so they cannot visit. "I have to go to a grave to see my child," she said.

During Shianna Frey's speech, Deneen stood and looked at her, as she had demanded.

Several of Amy Frey's friends and relatives in the courtroom cried while Shianna Frey addressed Deneen.

Outside the courtroom, Frey told reporters that her daughter's oldest son remembers his mother.

"He'll point at her picture and say, 'That's Mommy,'" Frey said. "If you ask him, he'll tell you she's an angel."

Amy Frey is on her mind every day, Shianna Frey said. "Losing a child, you never get over it. It never goes away. She was my oldest girl," Frey said.

Closure may now be possible, with Deneen's involvement in the case resolved, said Amy Frey's aunt, Cindy Springer.

"Now she can rest in peace," Springer said. "Justice was done and her soul can rest in peace knowing it's all taken care of."

After the court hearing, Deneen was taken back to Eastern Regional Jail, where he will await transfer to a state penitentiary.

Under West Virginia's "good-time" provision, for every day an inmate behaves in prison, one day is taken off his sentence. Deneen will first be eligible for parole in about 10 years, but if parole is denied at that time, he could be out in 20 years because of the good time rule, Games-Neely said.

Frey said she will make sure she or someone from her family attends all of Deneen's parole hearings, to argue against freeing him.

After he is released from jail, Deneen will have to pay nearly $9,000 in restitution, much of which was incurred by Frey's family to pay for her funeral, Games-Neely said.

Games-Neely could not comment on Deneen's assertion that he did not act alone, saying the case remains open.

As a condition of his plea, Deneen agreed to testify against others, if needed.

The plea was offered to Deneen earlier this year, but was withdrawn after he told police he was innocent. Deneen subsequently spoke to police and offered enough information for prosecutors to feel the plea was justified, Games-Neely said.

Deneen's "proffer," or statements he gave to police about the murder, was placed in a sealed envelope because of the open case.

Games-Neely said she was not surprised by Shianna Frey's statements to Deneen, saying that Frey had at first hoped prosecutors would take the case to trial and secure the death penalty. However, West Virginia does not have the death penalty and the evidence is more in line with second-degree murder, Games-Neely said.

"She needed to do that," Games-Neely said of Shianna Frey's statements. "That's cathartic for her."

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