Jan. 15—A New Kensington man awaiting trial on charges of ramming a car with two young children inside is now accused of making more than 200 calls from the county jail to the woman driving that car, asking her not to testify against him, according to county detectives.
Jamar L. Freshley, 32, of New Kensington, was arraigned Thursday on an additional criminal charge of intimidation of a witness, according to court documents.
Freshley's attempts to have the woman decline to testify apparently failed.
Court dockets show Freshley was ordered to stand trial Thursday by New Kensington District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. after a preliminary hearing.
The rollover crash happened at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 28 along Constitution Boulevard in Arnold.
Freshley had been held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $500,000 bond since his arrest Oct. 29 on more than a dozen felony charges. Among them are aggravated assault, aggravated assault of a victim younger than 6, aggravated assault by vehicle, recklessly endangering another person and multiple traffic violations.
The victim and her two children — both under 6 years old — escaped injury but were trapped in the car. They had to be freed by first responders, including firefighters from Arnold. The family members were transported by ambulances to an area hospital after the crash as a precaution.
The driver knows Freshley, according to authorities.
An arrest warrant was issued for Freshley after surveillance video appeared to show a red Chevrolet Malibu driven by him intentionally crashing into the vehicle. The video also showed Freshley and the female driver having a verbal exchange before he fled the scene, according to police reports.
Westmoreland County Detective James Williams said in court documents that Freshley began calling the victim from the Hempfield lockup two days after the crash, on Oct. 31 and continued through Jan. 4, repeatedly pleading with her to contact the district attorney's office to say she wouldn't testify against him.
On one day, Williams said Freshley telephoned the victim 14 times.
Williams noted that inmate calls from the prison are recorded.
"You have to get me out of here. You're the victim ... you just say (you) don't want to testify," Williams quoted Freshley in one telephone conversation.
Williams also said Freshley often became angry with the victim, yelling at her during a conversation Nov. 21.
"I asked you 50,000 times to get me out of here. Just go to the DA and get me out of here," Williams quoted him in the conversation.
"You got me in jail ... you told them I did it ... it's your fault," Williams said Freshley told the victim.
In numerous other calls to the victim, Williams said Freshley apologized for intentionally ramming her car.
"He said he didn't know (the children) were in the car when he rammed them. 'I'm in this little cell and I need out ... I'm sorry'," Williams reported Freshley said in court documents.
Hempfield District Judge Mark Mansour increased Freshley's $500,000 bond to $550,000 at his arraignment Thursday.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, email@example.com or via Twitter .