Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 4, 2013

Teen's admission that he killed Isabella Tennant can be used at trial


Niagara Gazette — He then led police to a trash can in the alley behind 531 Third St., where Tennant's body was found.

"The tenor changed based on information from Tyler Best that Isabella Tennant was dead and Mr. Freeman was the killer," Murphy said. 

Detectives actually took Freeman out of an interview room where they could record what he was saying, so that they could put Best in the room and record his statement. When Freeman was brought back to the room, Murphy said he was read his Miranda rights and agreed to speak to investigators.

"(Freeman) said, "I guess so, because I already heard Tyler Best snitched," Murphy said.

 The questioning by Detective Daniel Dobrasz then intensified.

"What did you hear?" Dobrasz asked Freeman.

"That Tyler Best snitched. That Tyler Best confessed that we murdered Bella," Freeman replied. "Did he (Best) say he did it?"

"You were asked what happened, you weren't honest, your (expletive) is in a sling," Dobrasz said to Freeman. 

Freeman then told Drobrasz that he had killed the little girl.

"I guess I'm a little bit crazy," Freeman said, "I just admitted to a killing. I'm going down and it could be for life."

Dobrasz asked Freeman, "What did Tyler do?"

"Nothing," Freeman replied.

Murphy said the rest of the recorded statement included graphic details of how Tennant died.

During the interrogation, Freeman also gave investigators a DNA sample, his fingerprints and his cell phone.

Freeman's defense attorney, Robert Viola, told Murphy that he is still considering a potential insanity defense. The teen has undergone two days of evaluations and Viola said he expects to have a psychiatric report ready in three weeks.

Prosecutors are also expected to ask for an opportunity to have their own expert psychologist examine Freeman.

An autopsy on Tennant's body, conducted by the Erie County Medical Examiner, concluded the cause of death as "asphyxiation due to mechanical obstruction of (her) airway and compression of the neck."

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