Jared Freelen

Jared Freelen

A Lindale man will spend 30 years in prison for his involvement in a Longview robbery and the 2019 death of a Tyler man.

Jared Anthony Freelen, 25, entered in a guilty plea for murder in the 188th District Court in Gregg County, according to online judicial records.

Freelen and Hannah Leigh McCartney, 31, also of Lindale, were arrested last year in connection with the death of Ladarius Breon Bell.

Judicial records show McCartney has a trial scheduled for May 17. She remains in the Gregg County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Police said Freelen, McCartney and Bell robbed a Longview resident in the 1400 block of East Fairmont Street on Dec. 15, 2019. They used firearms to steal the resident’s cell phone and go through his wallet, according to an arrest affidavit.

Longview police officers learned the resident of the home hired McCartney as a prostitute, the document stated.

The resident then pulled out a gun and shot toward McCartney’s vehicle. The shot hit Bell in his head. McCartney and Freelen drove away in her vehicle with Bell inside. They left Bell on the side of the road near Overton, the affidavit read.

Bell, 26, died from his injury that next day, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said at the time.

Smith County deputies were dispatched on Dec. 15 in the 17000 block of Farm-to-Market Road 2089 near Overton, where Bell was found and then airlifted to UT Health Tyler in critical condition.

Initial information suggested Bell was dragged out of the vehicle and left on the side of the road, the sheriff’s office said.

Their vehicle was stopped by a Forney Police Department officer, leading to the arrest of Freelen. Law enforcement later found McCartney at a hotel in Dallas, the sheriff’s office stated.

In the affidavit, the officer said McCartney and Freelen did not call for medical assistance for Bell.

McCartney was also arrested on an aggravated kidnapping charge, but she has just been indicted on a murder charge, according to criminal records.


Multimedia Journalist

I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.