A Pulaski man who slashed the throat of another man last September will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Colin Gibb sentenced 25-year-old Douglas Lee Freeman to life for aggravated malicious wounding of Clifton Todd Cecil, and 20 years (10 each) for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Wolfrey requested the life sentence, presenting evidence he said justified the sentence.
During a lengthy sentencing hearing, Pulaski Police Department Detective Jill Neice testified to finding the knife used to attack Cecil and large amounts of blood in the woods near Gatewood Park on the night of the incident.
Evidence showed the victim went with Freeman to the wooded area, mistakenly believing that he and Freeman were friends. Authorities said Freeman not only cut Cecil’s throat from “ear to ear,” but also stabbed Cecil in the head five times.
During his interrogation, testimony revealed, Freeman admitted that the knife “got stuck in (Cecil’s) head” and that Freeman “had to twist the blade to remove it from (Cecil’s) skull.” Freeman went on to say that he could “hear the bones in (Cecil’s) head cracking” as the knife was removed.
Graphic photographs from the hospital were introduced to Judge Gibb.
The victim’s sister testified that although Cecil survived the attack, he has permanent injuries that prevent him from eating solid foods, tasting many foods, swallowing and breathing. Cecil also is very untrusting of others and continuously relives the events of his attack, she said, adding that he suffers from headaches and pain in the areas he was stabbed.
Major Jackson with New River Valley Regional Jail played recorded telephone conversations between Freeman and other people. During one conversation, he said, Freeman told someone that he tried to kill Cecil because Cecil had “snitched” on him in a burglary case years before. Freeman was prosecuted in that case, according to authorities.
In another conversation Freeman stated that he had no remorse for the stabbing and he bragged that he told others of his intentions prior to the attack.
“Both the victim’s family and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney are pleased with this sentence,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said. “There is no doubt Douglas Freeman is an extremely violent and dangerous individual. We are thankful that the Court followed our urging to impose a life sentence.
“Although he is still relatively young, it is highly unlikely that he will ever be released on a sentence of life plus 20. I would like to thank the Pulaski Police Department for such a good job in investigating this case and those in my office for pursuing it to the fullest extent of the law.”