ShareThis Page
Cell phone records OK’d |

Cell phone records OK’d

| Wednesday, June 14, 2006 12:00 a.m

A federal judge ruled Tuesday for a second time that prosecutors can use cell phone records to try to prove that Damian Ray Bradford was on the Ohio Turnpike at the same time Dr. Gulam Moonda was shot and killed there.

U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd Jr. was told yesterday that the doctor’s widow, Donna Moonda, may be called as a witness at Bradford’s trial, which is scheduled to begin July 24 in Akron.

Bradford, 24, of Center, Beaver County, has pleaded not guilty to charges of interstate stalking and a firearms violation resulting in the death of Moonda, 69, of Hermitage, Mercer County.

Moonda, his wife, and his mother-in-law, Dorothy Smouse, 75, also of Hermitage, were traveling along the Ohio Turnpike to Toledo on May 13, 2005, when they stopped at an emergency pull-off near Cleveland to change drivers.

Donna Moonda, 46, who police said was having an affair with Bradford, told investigators that an unknown robber pulled in behind them, stole her husband’s wallet and shot him in the side of the face.

No charges have been filed against Donna Moonda, and her attorney has said she was not involved in her husband’s slaying.

Prosecutors contend that phone company records can place Bradford’s cell phone in Beaver County, Hermitage and various locations along the Ohio Turnpike the day of the murder. The records also show calls and text messages between Bradford and Donna Moonda that day.

Dowd last week denied a request by defense attorneys Michael J. DeRiso and Patrick J. Thomassey to suppress the records which they argued were obtained illegally.

The judge, who ruled last week that prosecutors did nothing improper in obtaining the records, refused a request by DeRiso and Thomassey to reconsider his decision yesterday.

Dowd also was told during yesterday’s conference with prosecutors and defense attorneys that there is a possibility that Donna Moonda and Smouse could be called as witnesses at Bradford’s trial. Prosecutors said steps will be taken to protect Donna Moonda’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Donna Moonda’s attorney, Niki Schwartz, could not be reached for comment.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.