Three men charged in Keagler murder enter not guilty pleas

TOLEDO (WTVG) - The three men charged in connection with the November murder of Michelle Keagler were arraigned in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday.

Brian Friess, 36, is charged with murder and entered a not guilty plea. His brother, Chad Friess, 34, is charged with complicity to aid and abet another, and he also entered a not guilty plea.

Both of their aggregate bonds were set at $1 million. Brian Friess had his pretrial set for March 23, and Chad Friess had his pretrial set for March 5.

The third man, James Haefner, is charged with obstructing justice and tampering with evidence. He entered a not guilty plea, and his bond was set at $50,000 for each count, $100,000 total.

Haefner's pretrial is set for March 12.

According to court documents, Haefner had text message communication with one of the Friess brothers regarding the murder before deleting the messages.

Haefner allegedly had communication with Chad Friess about how they would cover for Brian's actions in the murder and about "getting their stories together" before talking to police. When interviewed by detectives, Haefner lied about his actions and those of the Friesses.

Keagler, 30, was found deceased in a field near Kuhlman and South with stab wounds on Nov. 9. Keagler was stabbed two dozen times, and some of the wounds appeared to be defensive.

Brian Friess was already charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. He allegedly held up a store in September and took nearly $6,000.