Western New Jersey

Thor Frey jury asks to view crime scene video again

BELVIDERE, N.J. - Jurors deciding whether to convict Thor Frey of felony murder for a second time are taking another look at the crime scene DVD they viewed on the first day of testimony in his retrial almost two weeks ago.

Judge Ann R. Bartlett told the jurors just after noon Tuesday that a re-screening of the DVD is being arranged at their request, and that the DVD would be shown when they return from lunch at 1:30 p.m.

However, Bartlett, with the consent of prosecutor Kelly Shelton and defense lawyer Michael Priarone, denied a request by the jurors that they control the play-pause mechanism of the DVD player.

Instead, Bartlett ruled, a court official will be in charge, and that jurors can raise their hands when they want the DVD paused.

The jurors were first shown the DVD on Jan. 3 by prosecution witness Stephen J. Matuszek, a now-retired investigator for the Warren County Prosecutor's Office.

Matuszek shot the footage on Aug. 18, 2006, a few hours after 75-year-old Mary Bostian was beaten and suffocated in her home in Phillipsburg, Warren Co., and a safe with $25,000 in cash and coins owned by her son was stolen.

Jurors began the day by spending about an hour revisiting testimony from Thor Frey's ex-wife and ex-girlfriend.

A court reporter first read back testimony given on Jan. 3 and 4 by Naomi Frey, who was Thor Frey's estranged wife in 2006.

The court reporter then read back testimony given last Wednesday by Robin O'Grady, who was Frey's girlfriend in 2006 and the former wife of his convicted accomplice in the crime, Donald O'Grady Jr.

Most of the testimony from Naomi Frey, who was living with Bostian's son, John Counterman, when Bostian was murdered, centered on her purchase of two medallions engraved with Thor's hammer from a mail-order catalog.

Investigators found a Thor's hammer medallion in Bastion's living room on the day she was murdered, and Naomi Frey testified that she gave one of the medallions she bought to her former husband through his sister.

In her testimony, Robin O'Grady related what happened when Thor Frey returned to their home on Market Street in Bangor, Northampton Co., before sunrise on Aug. 18, 2006.

She said Frey gave her about $800 in cash and told her he had robbed for it, and that later in the day, as Frey watched a newscast about Bostian's death, Frey admitted being at Bostian's home, but claimed he "did not hurt the lady."

Frey was convicted of felony murder, robbery, burglary and criminal mischief in 2009 and given a 40-year sentence, before being granted a new trial in 2011.

The jury of six men and six women began their deliberations last Friday.

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