LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A Gregg County district judge sentenced a Lindale man to 30 years in connection with the December 2019 death of Ladarius Bell, one of his armed robbery accomplices, on Friday.
Jared Freelen, 25, is still being held in the Gregg County Jail on a first-degree felony murder charge and an assault causing bodily injury charge. Collectively, his bond amount is $252,500.
Freelen pleaded guilty to the murder charge, which was enhanced because Freelen had a previous felony conviction. District Judge Scott Novy sentenced Freelen during a hearing in the 188th Judicial District Court.
Freelen also received credit for the time he has already served.
Freelen’s murder conviction stems from a Dec. 15, 2019 incident that occurred in Longview.
In a previous KLTV story, Kristie Brian, a spokeswoman for the Longview Police Department, said that Freelen, Bell, and Hannah McCartney went to a location and tried to rob a person.
An arrest warrant shows the robbery victim had “procured the services of prostitution” from McCartney, and that when she got there, she, Bell, and Freelen committed armed robbery.
The victim reportedly pulled a gun and fired several rounds.
As shots rang out, Bell was struck fatally.
“They fled the scene and seeing how injured one of their accomplices was, they threw him out on the side of the road,” Brian said in a previous story.
Bell’s body was found on the side of FM 2089 in Smith County. He had suffered a gunshot wound, and he had been dragged out of the vehicle and left on the side of the road.
“She did not assist this person that she knew was injured,” Brian said.
McCartney’s arrest warrant alleges she and Freelen fled, knowing that Bell had been shot in the head and that neither of them called for any medical assistance, leaving him where he was found.
McCartney was arrested in Dallas County and brought back to Gregg County. She was indicted on a murder charge on Feb. 27, 2020, and her trial has been scheduled to start on May 17.
Gregg County Sheriff’s Office deputies obtained a warrant for Freelen and arrested him on March 25, 2020.