Navy sailor murders wife with children in the home

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — A Navy sailor shot and killed his wife inside their home while the couple’s two children were inside, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.

Petty Officer First Class Mark Freel, Jr. allegedly shot and killed his 27-year-old wife, Katherine Freel inside their Williamsburg home around 12:45 Sunday morning, according to Lieutenant Dennis Ivey, Jr.

The couple’s four-year-old boy and five-month-old girl were inside the Wichita Lane home at the time, but neither child was hurt.

The baby girl was sleeping when deputies arrived, but the boy was awake. Investigators cannot confirm where he was in the house, or whether he witnessed any part of the shooting. The victim’s family is taking care of both children, Ivey said.

Deputies arrested Freel, Jr., 26, at the scene. The 911 call came from Freel, Jr., according to Ivey, who would not elaborate on what the suspect said during the call.

“There was overwhelming probable cause that [Freel, Jr.] was the one who committed the crime,” said Ivey, who described it as a ‘domestic situation’.

The only prior call to the couple’s address came in a day prior to the murder, when Freel, Jr. called to complain about a neighbor, according to Ivey.

Freel, Jr. faces second degree murder and gun charges, and is being held without bond at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. Jail officials say he denied a jailhouse interview request.

A spokeswoman for the Navy confirmed Freel, Jr. is an active duty Navy sailor assigned to Joint Task Force Civil Support at Fort Eustis, which is an Army command.

He will remain an active duty sailor, pending the outcome of the investigation.

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