struggle to free Tonya McCartor, wife of OOIDA member Daryl McCartor,
has taken several steps forward in recent weeks.
was arrested March 19, 2002, in connection with a 1969 murder conviction
and 1970 escape from a Tennessee women's prison. Police told Daryl
she was actually Margo Freshwater, one of the most wanted criminals
in America. Now, the OOIDA member is spending his time trying to
help his wife clear her name.
attorneys, Robert Ritchie and Stephen Ross Johnson, filed a petition
Feb. 5 seeking a new trial based on the discovery of information
not available to defense attorneys in her 1969 trial, according
to a Memphis, TN, newspaper. A hearing on the motion is scheduled
for April 24 in a Memphis courtroom.
to The Commercial Appeal, the petition says the prosecution
withheld parts of a statement by jailhouse informant Johnny Box.
The missing portion contains Box's statement that Freshwater's co-defendant,
Glenn Nash, admitted killing liquor store employee Hillman Robbins.
Freshwater was later convicted of that killing.
Johnny Box statement consisted of several pages," Ritchie told
the newspaper. "The record reflects that only the last page
was provided to the defense. In the part not provided, Mr. Nash
told Mr. Box that he shot Hillman Robbins and indicated Margo Freshwater
was in another part of the store."
Tonya was also Darryl’s co-driver, her arrest also cut his income
in half, but he has no doubts he'll raise the $100,000 needed for
her legal fees.
trucker is logging as many miles as it takes to earn the money for
her legal defense, and he and Tonya's son have set up a Web site
at www.mccartorfund.org to tell her story and raise money for her legal defense.
financial woes continue to plague him. With only 12 more payments
left on his truck, he gave up the vehicle when he couldn't afford
a badly needed crankshaft replacement in January.
Daryl wasn't landlocked for long. Within days, he had signed on
as a company driver and was back on the road. With no truck payments,
he says he'll have that much more toward her legal expenses.
in the meantime, Daryl says trucking isn't the same without Tonya.
difficult to sit at a table to eat without my wife," Daryl
McCartor said. "We always had something to talk about, and
I miss her."
Rene Tankersley, feature editor