Roderick Herman Frey

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Roderick Herman Frey

Birthplace: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: September 16, 2015 (77-78)
Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania, United States (Natural Causes)
Immediate Family:

Son of Cyrus Strickler Frey and Helen Mary Frey
Husband of Barbara Jean Frey
Father of Private; Wendell L. Frey and Wesley Scott Frey, Sr.

Occupation: Dairy Delivery Driver
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Roderick Herman Frey

A former Washington Boro man who once came within five days of execution for the 1979 contract murder of his estranged wife has died of natural causes while serving a life sentence, a state Corrections Department spokeswoman said.

Roderick Frey, 78, died Sept. 16 at the State Correctional Institution at Greene, near Waynesburg, Greene County, where he had been an inmate since 1998, spokeswoman Susan McNaughton said. He had spent about 35 years behind bars.

A Lancaster County jury in 1980 sentenced Frey, a Turkey Hill Dairy delivery driver, to death after finding him guilty of first-degree murder for paying $5,000 to have his wife killed.
A federal appeals court in 1997 overturned the death sentence, saying the trial judge's death penalty instructions likely confused the jury. Lancaster County's district attorney appealed, but the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998 declined to take the case.

Police arrested Frey in December 1979 about a month after the body of his wife, Barbara Jean, 40, was found in her car in a Manor Township cornfield. She had been beaten and shot in the heart.

The Freys had filed for divorce at the time of the killing.

Trial testimony established that Frey hired two men who, posing as police officers, pulled over Mrs. Frey on Route 441 as she drove to work at a Turkey Hill Minit Market in Wrightsville on the morning of Nov. 8, 1979.
Frey's two hired guns pleaded guilty and received life sentences.

Frey barely reacted when a jury of seven women and five men announced the death sentence at 1:30 in the morning of May 15, 1980. His mother broke into tears and moaned.

Frey was scheduled to die in the electric chair at 10 p.m. June 14, 1988. But five days before the scheduled execution, the state Supreme Court issued a stay to hear arguments on the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's death penalty statute.

Frey's last court appearance was in September 1998 when Lancaster County Senior Judge Wilson Bucher, who had presided over Frey's trial, resentenced him to life without parole.

Frey had nothing to say when the judge offered him a chance to speak.
30 Sep 2015

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Roderick Herman Frey's Timeline

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
March 20, 1960
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
March 20, 1960
Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States
September 16, 2015
Age 78
Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania, United States