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Moonda's love notes introduced at her trial

| Friday, June 22, 2007

AKRON, Ohio - Donna Moonda called Damian Bradford "daddy" and said she fell asleep counting "little Damians" in text messages she sent to her lover in the hours before her wealthy husband was fatally shot.

A day later, the phone texting changed to "something terrible has happened" and "I need to tell you what happened," according to testimony Thursday from investigators.

Federal prosecutors continued to give jurors details of the relationship between Moonda and Bradford, who has admitted killing Dr. Gulam Moonda, 69, a Mercer County urologist, along the Ohio Turnpike near Cleveland on May 13, 2005.

Donna Moonda, 48, of Hermitage, is on trial on federal murder-for-hire charges. Bradford, 25, of Center, Beaver County, is cooperating with prosecutors and expected to be their key witness next week.

Allan Buxton, a computer forensic specialist for the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, testified that he retrieved a number of text messages from Bradford's cell phone.

Donna Moonda sent nine text messages to Bradford before 4:30 p.m. the day of the slaying.

"I'm getting tired so I'm going to count little Damians until I fall asleep," she wrote about 1:30 a.m.

"Be sure to call me tomorrow. I may have plans."

The next minute, she wrote: "Thanks again for today, daddy. Sweet dreams about me. I love you always. Your baby girl."

Cell phone records show that Bradford and Donna Moonda had at least eight telephone conversations the day of the murder, including one that lasted 52 minutes. The records also show the two were in New Castle at the same time that day and prosecutors contend they sat down to talk there.

At 4:13 p.m., less than 90 minutes before the murder, she sent Bradford a text message saying: "I'm getting something 2 drink b4 I go. I luv u," according to Thomas Halligan, a Highway Patrol investigator.

Bradford sent a text message in reply, but that message could not be retrieved, Halligan said.

At 4:28 p.m., Donna Moonda sent Bradford a second text message saying, "U enjoy the beautiful day. I will text u when I can. I luv u," Halligan said.

Halligan used cell phone records to show Damian Bradford drove to Hermitage, then followed the Moondas as they drove along the turnpike toward Toledo

The day after the killing, Donna Moonda - who told Ohio State Highway Patrol investigators that her husband had been shot by an unknown robber - sent Bradford a text message saying: "Something terrible has happened. I don't know where to start. I can't talk now. Maybe later."

That night, shortly after midnight, she wrote: "Can you talk• I can't sleep and need to explain what happened."

Twenty-four hours later, she wrote: "Can you talk• I need to tell you what happened. It's on all the news."

The trial is scheduled to continue Monday.

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