Brevard judge denies fugitive's motion to dismiss original waiver of extradition

Attorney: Frank Freshwater under stress, not fully aware of implications

Frank Freshwaters, 79.
Frank Freshwaters, 79.

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Brevard judge issued a ruling on Monday denying the motion to dismiss original waiver of extradition of a fugitive who was on the lam from Ohio since 1959 when he was arrested in Melbourne.

The judge issued the ruling in response contentions from 79-year-old Frank Freshwater's attorney that his client was "confused," and was not formally assigned an attorney when he initially signed a waiver of extradition on May 5, a day after his arrest, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reports.

Freshwaters was arrested May 4 on a fugitive warrant from Ohio. The U.S. Marshal's office in Ohio formed a cold case unit and used it to track Freshwaters down to a dilapidated trailer just off of the Sarno Road extension in Melbourne.

Records show that he was 21 years old when he was indicted on second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of 24-year-old Eugene Flynt in front of his home.

The judge said in her ruling that "although the defendant initially indicated to Judge Garagozlo that he wanted to 'fight' extradition, he later announced to the judge that he wanted to waive his right to extradition and affirmed that he signed a waiver."

The judge said that, based on the testimony in a May 14 hearing at the Brevard County Jail Complex that, "the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to extradition and was not confused as he alleges."

The judge also said in her ruling that case law in cases involving extraditions was clear and that Freshwaters did not have the right to legal counsel at the initial extradition hearing.