Judge denies lawyer change for Rachel Fryer

Rachel Fryer indicted on 5 charges in daughter's death

Rachel Fryer.
Rachel Fryer.

A judge has denied a lawyer change for a mother who was charged in her 2-year-old daughter's death.


Rachel Fryer, 33, was charged with felony murder after she told investigators in February 2014 that she put her daughter's body in a suitcase and buried her in Putnam County.

Fryer said she found Tariji Gordon unresponsive, but an autopsy shows the girl died from a blow to the head.

Fryer appeared in court on Tuesday to ask Judge Debra S. Nelson for a new attorney in her case. She wrote a motion asking for the hearing.

"He told me he was only going to work on my case," Fryer told Nelson. "I've seen him in the newspaper in three different trials. He's lied to me several times."

Fryer claimed she had asked Jeff Dowdy to ask the court for a bond hearing, as well, to no avail.

Dowdy defended himself to the court, describing requests his office had received from Fryer.

"She demands that we make phone calls on her behalf to numerous people. She wants us to put money in her account which we will not do," he said.

Nelson denied the motion, giving Fryer some advice before her case goes to trial.

"I'm not going to remove them from your case. So, you have to make a decision whether you're going to cooperate with the system and the defense in your case or not," she said.

Fryer is in Seminole County jail on no bond.

Attorneys from both sides agreed in court on Tuesday her trial should begin sometime in October.

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