Murder suspect pleas in case of missing Vinita girls

Published: 07/16/2020, 12:16 PM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(VINITA, Okla.) The suspect in the 1999 case of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman agreed to a plea deal in exchange for information about the location of the girls on Wednesday. Ronnie Busick (69) agreed to plea to one count of Accessory to Murder. Although his formal sentencing is scheduled for August 31, he accepted a sentence of 10 years in prison and five years suspended with time served for cooperating with investigators. If Busick can provide investigators with information that leads to the recovery of the girls, his sentence will be amended to five years in prison and five years suspended, with time served. Busick has spoken with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) agents and investigators from District 12 District Attorney Matt Ballard’s Office on several occasions. Those talks will continue in an effort to locate Lauria and Ashely. On December 30, 1999, Ashely’s parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, were found in the ruble of their home after a house fire. Both had been murdered. Lauria was spending the night with Ashley that night and both were missing from the home and haven’t been seen since. An arrest warrant was issued for Busick on April 20, 2018. He was incarcerated in Newton, Kansas and that is where he was served the warrant on April 22, 2018. Busick and two other suspects, David Pennington and Phil Welch, were identified as suspects in the girls’ disappearance and probable murder based on an extensive and coordinated investigation between the OSBI and the DA’s office that included tips from the public.


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