Frasch Pleads Not Guilty To Wife's Murder

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UPDATED
November 10, 2014
By Andy Alcock

Doctor Adam Frasch entered a plea of not guilty to murder of his wife on Monday.

That plea, entered in the court record by his St. Augustine attorney Clyde Taylor, also demands discovery or the evidence against him and requests a jury trial.

Frasch appeared before a judge Saturday morning.

He testified before a grand jury Friday and then was indicted that same day for his wife Samira's murder.

"We were obviously very disappointed with the grand jury acting so quickly because there are a number of questions we wanted answered and were assured they're going to be answered," Taylor said.

State Attorney Willie Meggs says typically, Frasch would've been arrested first and then the case would be brought to the grand jury.

Meggs says he did make that effort last week when his surrogates asked a judge for an arrest warrant for Frasch.

"The man has a passport, he has the means to travel and we were concerned about his traveling," Meggs said.

But with Frasch promising to testify before the grand jury, Meggs says he didn't want to put all the information against Frasch into the court record.

So he wasn't surprised when the judge denied Frasch's arrest warrant.

"Had he known all the information we had, it's conceivable that he could've changed his testimony or avoided his testimony," Meggs said.

Samira Frasch was found dead in the pool of the couple's Golden Eagle home in February.

According to the indictment, Frasch is accused of killing his wife by inflicting trauma to her head or drowning.

"Which is somewhat inconsistent perhaps, so those will be questions we'll be looking to answer from discovery from the state and aggressively defending the case," said Taylor.

"That's part of the testimony that will be elicited during the trial through the medical examiner to the cause of death," said Meggs.

Meggs characterizes the case against Frasch as circumstantial.

"A well connected stream of circumstances is as conclusive in proving a fact as direct and postive evidence," Meggs said.

He acknowledges part of those circumstances include Frasch being arrested for violating a court ordered child custody agreement by taking his two small daughters to Panama City on the same day his wife was found murdered.

Meggs says that evidence was presented to the grand jury.

Frasch has denied killing his wife.

He's also claimed he had his wife's permission to take their children to the beach that day.

Frasch entered a plea deal in that case and was released from jail for time served.

During that case, a judge determined Frasch was competent to stand trial.

Meggs said he wanted Frasch to testify before the grand jury in the murder case.

He says without that competency ruling, Frasch wouldn't have been able to testify before the grand jury.


UPDATED
November 8, 2014
10:54am

Dr. Adam Frasch made his first appearance in front of a judge Saturday morning.

Frasch was indicted on charges of first degree murder on Friday.

Frasch's attorney Clyde Taylor says they'll be requesting bond in 2-3 weeks.

Until then Frasch will be held without bond.


UPDATED
By: James Buechele
November 7, 2014 11 p.m.

Dr. Adam Rasch was escorted into the Leon County Jail Friday night after a grand jury indicted him on first-degree murder charges in the death of his wife.

This comes after two days of testimony and just hours after Frasch testified on his behalf for more than two hours in front of jurors.

"I think it's important for the grand jury to get a perspective other than the perspective of just the prosecution who only tells the grand jury what they want them to hear," said Frasch's attorney John Leace.

Unlike a criminal case, a grand jury could ask Frasch questions with his attorney present. However, because the grand jury testimony is sealed, details about what was asked can't be released.

"He answered all the questions posed in a straight forward manor as I told you guys before he was looking forward to coming and telling the truth about his side of the events and what happened."


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
November 7, 2014
6:45pm

Prosecutors say a grand jury has indicted Adam Frasch on charges of first degree murder.

He just turned himself in at the Leon County Jail. We have
video of him walking into the jail in handcuffs.


UPDATED
5:10pm

The grand jury has reached a decision, but it has not yet been announced. We'll share it with you as soon as possible.


By: James Buechele
November 7, 2014 - 4:30 p.m.

Adam Frasch just left the grand jury after testifying for more than 2 hours.

He left without making a statement to the press.

Frasch's attorney did speak to us afterwards.

It appears all the evidence and testimony is in.


By Julie Montanaro
2:15pm

Adam Frasch is now testifying before the grand jury.


By Julie Montanaro
11:45am
November 7, 2014

Dr. Adam Frasch will testify before the grand jury after lunch.

The medical examiner has just finished testifying and an investigator with the state attorneys office is inside now.


November 7, 2014
11am
By Julie Montanaro

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A grand jury is in its second day of reviewing evidence in the death of mother and model Samira Frasch.

Prosecutors are seeking a murder indictment against her husband Adam Frasch.

He just arrived and is expected to testify in front of the grand jury today.

Frasch waited to testify Thursday afternoon but other testimony was running longer than expected and he will testify today instead.

Frasch denies killing his wife.

The medical examiner is testifying behind closed doors right now.


November 6, 2014
By: Julie Montanaro
3:50pm

Adam Frasch will not testify before a grand jury today after all.

Testimony was running behind schedule and Frasch will return to court tomorrow at 9:45 a.m.


November 6, 2014
By: Julie Montanaro
2:45pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A grand jury is now reviewing evidence in the murder of Samira Frasch.

The lead detective in the case just went inside.

Frasch's husband, Dr. Adam Frasch is waiting in the hallway for his turn to testify.

Prosecutors say the podiatrist is the prime suspect in his wife's murder.

Samira Frasch was found dead in the backyard pool of her Golden Eagle home in February.

Frasch was arrested with the couple's two young daughters in Panama City later the same day. He recently entered a plea to misdemeanor interference with child custody charges.

He has denied killing Samira Frasch and says he had taken the girls to the beach with his wife's permission.

LCSO has ruled Samira Frasch's death a homicide but never released her cause of death.

The medical examiner is also waiting outside the grand jury room.


November 5, 2014

A doctor suspected in his wife's murder will testify before a grand jury.

Adam Frasch's attorney confirmed today the doctor will testify and claims the state attorney's office is trying to get an indictment because it can't get a warrant.

The day Adam Frasch was released from jail in the wake of a plea on child custody charges, he wrote "I didn't murder the mother of my two babies."

Prosecutors suspect he did and will present evidence in the case to a grand jury Thursday seeking a murder indictment against Frasch in the death of his wife Samira.

She was found dead in the family's backyard pool in February.

Yet Frasch's lawyer says the state attorney's office tried and failed to get an arrest warrant for Frasch last week.

"The question has to be asked if the judge found no probable cause, why is the state forum shopping to take it to a grand jury and asking lay people to make a decision that essentially overrides the findings of a sitting judge?" defense attorney John Leace said at a Wednesday press conference.

Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman wouldn't confirm or deny that prosecutors tried to get a warrant and had no comment on the new claims except to say Frasch is being treated fairly.

"They locked on to Dr. Frasch as the spouse and haven't looked very far beyond that," Leace said.

In an open letter to the "people of Tallahassee," Frasch specifically addressed grand jury members and urged them to ask the state attorney what evidence he has to put Frasch at the scene at the time of death, what reason he would have to kill his wife and raised the question ... Who else may have had motive to kill her?

Frasch's attorney admits it is unusual for a suspect to testify in front of a grand jury.

"Dr. Frasch feels it would be in his best interest to let the jurors hear some of the other side and allow them to hear him tell his side of the story," Leace said.

Grand jury proceedings are held behind closed doors and are off limits to the public and the press. We'll be waiting outside should the grand jury reach a decision in the case.

Leace also criticized the Leon County Sheriff's Office, saying it tried to question Frasch about the case without his attorney present when he went to pick up his belongings from the jail.

LCSO Spokesman James McQuaig confirms Frasch was asked if he wanted to talk to detectives that day and Frasch said not without his attorney, so he was allowed to leave.


Update: WCTV Eyewitness News
November 5, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A local doctor whose wife was found dead in the family swimming pool will testify before a Leon County Grand Jury on Thursday.

Dr. Adam Frasch was released from jail last week after reaching a plea deal on child custody charges.

Frasch will be going in front of a grand jury considering the death of his wife.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
October 30, 2014

A doctor suspected in his wife's murder was released from jail this afternoon, after reaching a plea deal on child custody charges.

Our cameras were rolling when Dr. Adam Frasch walked out just before 2 p.m.

"Just tell people when they leave home in the morning to just make sure you kiss your loved ones and tell them that you love them because it may be the last time that you see them," Frasch said as he left the jail. "This is the biggest travesty and injustice that anybody could have happen to them."

Adam Frasch walked out of the jail Thursday with his father, minister and friends by his side.

He reached a plea deal earlier in the day, pleading no contest to a pair of misdemeanors for attempted interference with child custody.

He was sentenced to time served and released.

"The opportunity to go home today led him to take a plea deal not because he is guilty of any wrongdoing, but simply for the convenience of getting out of jail," defense attorney John Leace said. "Dr. Frasch has been held in jail for eight months. He hasn't seen any of his children during that time period. He has a mother who is very, very ill. He wants the opportunity to move forward and start building his life back."

The plea comes nearly eight months - and several competency evaluations - after Frasch's arrest.

He was accused of taking his two daughters, ages 10 months and two years, to Panama City in February despite a court order granting sole custody to his wife Samira.

She was found dead in the family's pool the same day. Frasch is a suspect in her murder, prosecutors say, but has not been charged.

Prosecutors say they offered the plea in the child custody case - so they wouldn't have to turn over evidence in the murder investigation.

"Our office intends to go forward and present the homicide case to the grand jury and that's the next step in the process for us," prosecutor John Hutchins said.

The grand jury is expected to take up the Frasch case next Thursday.

Frasch's attorney says Frasch plans to travel to Nebraska to see his family and will soon make a decision about whether he'll testify before the grand jury.


By: Julie Montanaro
October 30, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Adam Frasch has entered a plea in a child custody case and will be released from jail today.

Prosecutors say Frasch entered a plea to two misdemeanor counts of attempted interference with child custody and was sentenced to time served.

Assistant State Attorney John Hutchins says a grand jury will review evidence in the murder of Frasch's wife next week.


Updated by: Charlene Cristobal
October 17, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. --
"I believe that he's competent."
"I found that Dr. Frasch is competent to stand trial."

Doctor Adam Frasch sat emotionless during his hour long mental health hearing. Two doctors testified that they evaluated Frasch and he is mentally stable to testify in court.

"It appears, based on my evaluation of Dr. Frasch and based on the records I was able to review at the jail, that he has been taking his medication since the time of the initial trial and since that time, I've noticed an improvement in his mood," said one of the doctor's who has evaluated Frasch. "He's less manic, he's able to follow conversations, maintain attention and conversation and he's able to be redirected when he gets off task."

Frasch has been behind bars since February when his wife Samira was found dead in the family's backyard pool. Frasch was arrested later that same day, accused of taking the couple's two young daughters to Panama City, despite a divorce court order against it.

In the end, the judge did rule that Frasch is mentally stable to stand trial, and will do so, tentatively, on December 1st.

He's also facing Federal charges after police found guns in his Thomasville office during a Medicaid fraud investigation.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
October 17, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A local doctor whose wife was found dead in the family's swimming pool was back in court this morning.

A Leon County Judge ruled Adam Frasch fit to stand trial on child custody charges.

Frasch has been behind bars since February but had been deemed unfit to stand trial back in August.

Frasch was in court Friday morning as two doctors testified that he is mentally stable and can testify during trial.

His wife Samira was found dead in the family's backyard pool in February and Frasch was arrested later that same day, accused of taking the couple's two young daughters to Panama City despite a court order against it.

Police ruled Samira's death a homicide, but Frasch has not been charged in his wife's murder.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
August 14, 2014

Ours were the only cameras rolling when Dr. Adam Frasch faced a judge this morning.

Dr. Adam Frasch has been behind bars since February.

His wife Samara was found dead in the family's backyard pool and Frasch was arrested later that same day and accused of taking the couple's two young daughters to Panama City despite a divorce court order against it.

He has not been charged in his wife's murder and his attorney made a passionate plea to the judge Thursday to release him from jail.

"Dr. Frasch is being treated as if he's been charged with first degree murder and he hasn't," defense attorney John Leace said.

Frasch's attorney contends the custody charges are not enough to hold him indefinitely. He points to two psychologists who recently testified Frasch was not a danger to himself or anyone else.

"He's just languishing in jail and it's frustrating," Leace said.

But prosecutors were quick to point out Frasch has already been released from jail once - and re-arrested for violating the rules - after federal agents found guns in his Thomasville podiatry office.

"To say that Dr. Frasch does not constitute a danger and isn't a threat, judge, is asking the court to totally ignore the fact that the state attorney's office was prepared to go forward to a grand jury and seek a first degree murder indictment," prosecutor John Hutchins said.

The judge ordered Frasch to remain behind bars - without bond - and continue taking his medication.

Frasch was found incompetent to stand trial on the child custody charges last month. His attorney contends the fastest way to ensure his competency is to let him out to get treatment. The judge said he'll eventually order another mental health evaluation.


UPDATED
By: Chris Gros
July 31,2014

Tallahassee, FL - A judge has ordered that Dr. Adam Frasch receive bi-polar medication while in Leon County Jail.

Judge Kevin J. Carroll made that decision after the latest psychiatric evaluation revealed that Frasch is mentally incompetent to participate in trial.

"I think that the second he gets to competency, he needs to participate and we need to get this thing wrapped up. I can't send him to the state hospital right now when the doctors are telling me he doesn't meet the criteria for it," said Judge Carroll.

Frasch currently faces charges of interference with child custody for taking his two young daughters to Panama City despite a divorce court order against it..

Judge Carroll has ordered a status conference to take place two weeks from today's hearing on August 14th.

It was also revealed today in court that Frasch has been receiving medication for two weeks now in jail.

Both Frasch's defense and the State Attorney's office denied to comment on camera.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
June 12, 2014

A judge has ordered a third psychiatric evaluation of Dr. Adam Frasch.

Judge Caloca-Johnson says the latest psychiatric evaluation by Dr. Leland found Frasch competent to proceed, with the exception of his ability to testify.

"It's the sort of hairsplitting that as a lawyer I'm not comfortable with," Frasch's attorney John Leace said. "It's unusual to be sort of competent and that seems to be what the evaluation says, 'You're competent for x and y but not z,' and that's what I want clarified."

Frasch currently faces charges of interference with child custody for taking his two young daughters to Panama City despite a divorce court order against it..

Adam Frasch was recently named a suspect in his wife's death but has not been charged.

We learned in court today that competency questions delayed a grand jury review of evidence in that homicide investigation - which was initially set for last week.

Prosecutors say Frasch has a right to testify before the grand jury.

"He (Frasch) has certainly expressed a desire before that he wants to testify at the Grand Jury. As you know, our office is prepared to go forward and we cancelled it based on his wish to testify because we needed to resolve this issue regarding competency before he could do that,' prosecutor John Hutchins said.

Frasch's attorney also asked the court to order the return of electronics and $5000 in cash taken from Frasch's house as well as keys taken from a backpack that Frasch had with him in Panama City when he was arrested.

The judge says she does not have jurisdiction to return the items because they were seized in connection with the homicide investigation.

Steve Andrews - who recently filed a wrongful death suit against Frasch on behalf of his wife Samira's estate - also argued against the return of the items because he feared Adam Frasch's family might try to liquidate her assets.

Another attorney representing Samira Frasch's family was there too.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
June 5, 2014

A Leon County Grand Jury was set to review evidence in the murder of Samira Frasch tomorrow. That has been delayed.

Her husband Adam Frasch is not charged in her death, but prosecutors call him a suspect.

We do not know why the grand jury review was delayed but we will let you know if and when it is rescheduled.


By Julie Montanaro
June 2, 2014

Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman confirms a grand jury will review evidence in the murder of Samira Frasch on Friday.

Cappleman calls Frasch's husband Adam Frasch a "suspect" in her murder.

Cappleman says the grand jury can choose to indict him or take no action at all.

A new grand jury will be sworn in Friday morning and then begin hearing evidence in the case.

Samira Frasch was found dead in the family's backyard pool in Golden Eagle in February. Her husband Adam Frasch was arrested in Panama City later the same day with his two young daughters. He is charged with interference with child custody. He has not been charged in connection with his wife's death.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office classified Samira Frasch's death as a homicide, but has not released any information on the cause of death.


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