Dexter woman arrested in child-custody battle

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Abby Gayle Freel, 35, of Dexter was arrested Wednesday on a Guthrie County warrant for failure to appear on original charges of child endangerment, interference with official acts and violation of a custodial order.


A Dexter woman was arrested on a Guthrie County warrant Thursday in connection with an incident last summer in which she allegedly barricaded herself in a bedroom with her 12-year-old son and told law enforcement they “would have to shoot her to get custody of the child,” according to court records.

Happily, the incident issued in no such extremities, and Abby Gayle Freel, 35, of 8108 Kola St., Dexter, was arrested on charges of child endangerment, interference with official acts and violation of a custodial order.

The incident occurred Aug. 19, 2020, about 6:45 p.m. in the Lake Diamondhead area of Dexter, where Guthrie County Deputy Sheriffs sought to execute a writ of habeas corpus and “take physical custody” of a minor child from the child’s mother and transfer custody to the child’s father.

Freel allegedly “refused to exit the house and shut the door on” the deputies, according to court records. When the deputies entered the residence, Freel allegedly “locked herself in a bedroom with her son.”

The deputies negotiated with Freel for more than 30 minutes, during which time she allegedly “refused to open the door” and repeatedly said the deputies “would have to shoot her to get custody of the child,” according to court records.

The deputies eventually “forced entry into the room,” and Freel “was arrested without incident in front of the minor child,” according to court records.

A warrant for Freel’s arrest was ordered June 7 in Guthrie County District Court and served July 15. Freel is held without bond in the Dallas County Jail. She is scheduled for a pretrial hearing July 19 in Guthrie County District Court.

Freel was convicted of interference with official acts in 2018 in Warren County District Court.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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