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DNA on handcuffs found in 20-year-old murder case

Published: Feb. 17, 2010 at 9:16 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2010 at 7:53 PM EDT
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Kim Thomas (File photo)
Kim Thomas (File photo)
Dr. Ed Friedland (File photo)
Dr. Ed Friedland (File photo)

By Tom Roussey - bio l email & WBTV Staff

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Police say new evidence came in last year, and now they have two cold case detectives working on a nearly 20 year old murder case.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Wednesday it has been actively investigating the murder of 31-year-old Kim Thomas who was killed on July 27, 1990.  She was found murdered in her Southeast Charlotte home.

Police say new evidence came in in 2008 that prompted assigning the detectives to the case.

Thomas was a leader in the Charlotte chapter of NOW, a former financial news network anchor, and an author of book about pregnancy.

Her husband, Dr. Ed Friedland, discovered his wife's body inside their home at 3853 Churchill Road located off Wendover Road.  Police said her throat was slashed and she'd been stabbed over 20 times, but the couple's 10-month-old baby was found in the next room unharmed.

At the time of her murder, Friedland was suspected of hiring someone to kill his wife.  There were also allegations that Friedland was involved with another woman.

However, when the case went to trial, the charges against Friedland were dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Subsequently, Friedland sued a handyman named Marion Gales in civil court.  Friedland said Gales was the person who killed Thomas and won a wrongful death lawsuit against Gales.

Friedland's attorney David Rudolf told WBTV in an email that the new evidence in the case -- which police won't comment on -- is DNA from a pair of handcuffs that were on Thomas's body when she was found dead.  Rudolf says the DNA matches someone who is incarcerated.

Gales is currently in prison.  He was charged with murder for the 2008 death of LaCoya Martin, and eventually accepted a manslaughter plea deal.

"He definitely maintained and still maintains that he had nothing to do with the murder," said attorney Terry Sherrill, who represented Gales.  Sherrill pointed out that Gales has never been arrested and maintained his innocence from day one.

Meanwhile, Friedland lost his practice in Charlotte and eventually moved to Florida.  He now lives in Pensacola with a new wife and is again a practicing doctor.

At the time of the murder Friedland was reportedly having an affair and the marriage was not going well.

Detectives say they will be conducting additional interviews of witnesses and suspects in the case, a police spokesman said.

The police department says it has also contacted the family members to inform them that the case is being reviewed again.

If you have any information about this case, call the CMPD Homicide Cold Case Unit at 704-336-2358 or 704-336-2294.