Murder Suspect's Wife Speaks Out

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, October 16 2013 at 7:16 PM, Updated: Wed, October 16 2013 at 8:05 PM

On Wednesday afternoon the man charged with the murder of Ashlander Frank Damiano, also known as Tony Della Penna, appeared in a Jackson County courtroom.

Sitting in the courtoom was 34-year-old Merlin Bound the Third's wife. She told NBC 5 that not only was her husband in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that the person who actually killed Damiano is still out there.

"I'm scared, he's scared, for the fact that he didn't do it," said Malinda Bound, Merlin Bound's wife.

Bound's wife, mother, mother in law and son showed up for his arraignment.

Bound is in the Jackson County Jail, charged with what police are calling the brutal murder of 62-year-old Ashland man Frank Damiano, also known as "Tony Della Penna." 

However, Bound's wife says her husband is innocent.

"The person that did it, that I know did it, was our roommate and he is a very terrifying person. My husband felt threatened for our family if he didn't comply with certain things and he was under the impression that he was supposed to take [the roommate] for a ride. That's about it and then, everything just went out of control," said Malinda Bounds.

She said her husband didn't know Damiano, but their roommate did.

"There was some sort of relationship there," she said.

Since Jackson County Sheriffs deputies found Damiano's body last week, they've released few details in the investigation.

After multiple calls from NBC 5 News, officials at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office have not confirmed whether or not they're looking for another suspect.

"We're cooperating. We'll to anything possible to make this right," said Malinda Bounds.

She did not name the roommate, only saying that he's on the run.

"I know he left the county. I don't know that he'd ever come back now he knows somebody else is taking the fall for it."

With Bound behind bars for a crime his family says he didn't commit, times have been tough.

"My family's been torn apart, and then it's constant police in and out of the house. We can't even go outside without people staring at us. It's just horrible," she said.

Even under intense scrutiny, Bound's wife is sticking by her husband.

"Merlin is a great husband, a great father and I couldn't ask for anyone better. He didn't do it."

One of Merlin Bound's friends agreed with Bound's wife. In a previous interview his friend told us Bound was a family man who is not capable of murder.

People who knew Frank Damiano were also in court, but had no comment.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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