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    by Madeleine Hubbard   Three men accused of supporting the plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were found guilty Wednesday of providing “material support” for a terrorist act as part of a paramilitary group. A Jackson, Michigan, jury also convicted Pete Musico, his son-in-law Joe Morrison and Paul Bellar of a firearms crime and being members of a gang, the Wolverine Watchmen, The Associated Press reported. The men participated in gun drills in Jackson County with accused kidnapping ringleader Adam Fox. Defense attorneys argued the three men were no longer associated with Fox by the time the plot came to light in summer 2020. Whitmer said the verdicts “are further proof that violence and threats have no place in our politics.” The Democratic governor has not participated in the state or federal trials regarding her attempted kidnapping. – – – Madeleine Hubbard joined Just the News as a fast file reporter after working as an editor at Breitbart News. Photo Paul Bellar (Left), Pete Musico (Middle), and Joseph Morrison (Right) by Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office....
    MERCED — The California man accused of kidnapping and killing an 8-month-old baby, her parents and uncle earlier this month pleaded not guilty Thursday. Jesus Salgado allegedly kidnapped the family at gunpoint from their trucking business on Oct. 3. Authorities say Salgado, a former employee with a longstanding dispute, likely killed them within an hour. FILE – This image released by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office shows Jesus Salgado. Salgado was charged on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in the kidnapping and killings of an 8-month-old baby, her parents and uncle. (Merced County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)  Salgado, 48, entered his not-guilty plea Thursday morning, KFSN reported. He is scheduled to return to court next month. It was not immediately clear which attorney was representing him. The victims’ bodies were found two days after their kidnapping when a farm worker in an almond orchard in a remote area of the San Joaquin Valley, California’s agricultural heartland, discovered the remains of Aroohi Dheri; her 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur; her 36-year-old father Jasdeep Singh; and her 39-year-old uncle Amandeep Singh. Salgado faces...
    (CNN)The man accused of kidnapping and killing Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher was arraigned Thursday for aggravated rape charges in a separate 2021 incident after DNA evidence from the Fletcher investigation linked him to the crime.Cleotha Henderson, 38, was indicted last week on charges of aggravated rape, kidnapping and unlawful possession of a weapon for a September 21, 2021, incident involving a different woman.Henderson appeared in a Shelby County courtroom Thursday morning for his arraignment on the charges. He was escorted into the courtroom by a Shelby County Sheriff's Department deputy and stood next to his lawyer, a Shelby County public defender.Body found in Memphis is that of abducted teacher and a suspect is being charged with murder, police sayThe judge issued Henderson a total bond of $1,425,000 for the charges in this case, though he is being held on no bond for the charges related to Fletcher.Henderson's attorney entered a plea of not guilty for the three charges and requested the case go to trial. Read MoreThe Shelby County judge also mentioned Henderson's prior conviction, nearly two decades ago, for...
    Cynthia Abcug, 50, was convicted of second-degree kidnapping after she was charged with plotting with QAnon supporters to abduct her son from foster care The Parker, Colorado, mom who subjected her son to medical child abuse known as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy was convicted of a plot to kidnap her 7-year-old with the help of QAnon supporters. A Douglas County jury found Cynthia Lee Abcug, 53, guilty of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping and child abuse last week.  The child was removed from the her home in 2019 by child welfare authorities after an investigation found that she had jeopardized the health of her son due to the Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy after an investigation. Munchausen syndrome is a mental illness whereby a parent or caretaker sickens a child or makes up symptoms to make the child look sick. Abcug claimed that her son suffered from seizures, heart problems and other ailments, despite multiple tests and medical examinations from doctors that found nothing wrong with him. Two doctors testified at the trial that the mother had fabricated his condition. 'While...
    A Colorado mother accused of plotting to kidnap her son from foster care after her teen daughter said she started associating with supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory was found guilty of conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping on Friday. Cynthia Abcug, 53, denied she was involved in planning a raid on the foster home where her then seven-year-old son lived in the fall of 2019. She had lost custody of him earlier that year after being accused of medical child abuse — lying about him having seizures and other health problems in order to trick doctors into providing unnecessary care. Jurors also found Abcug guilty of a misdemeanor count of child abuse. She is scheduled to be sentenced in October. MARYLAND WOMAN RUNS DOWN BOYFRIEND IN CAR, KILLING HIM: POLICE This undated booking photo provided by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, in Colorado, shows Cynthia Abcug Douglas County Sheriff's Office via AP Her son, now 10, is still in foster care and has not had serious health problems since being removed from Abcug, according...
    A 23-year-old D.C. resident and street gang member pleaded guilty to a first degree murder charge, officials said. In 2019, Jordan Moreno, "Joker", and two other members of the "Tiny Locos Surenos" group in the 18th Street gang, kidnapped a woman who they believed was associating with another gang, MS-13, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Moreno and the co-conspirators lured the victim to a wooded area in Maryland, where Moreno shot and killed her, authorities reported. Moreno pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping charges related to the death of the 19-year-old woman after pleading guilty in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County to first degree murder, the Attorney's Office said. He faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison for conspiracy to kidnap and his sentencing is scheduled for October 28, 2022, officials reported.
    A Boston jury found Victor Pena guilty Tuesday, July 26, of kidnapping a 23-year-old woman and raping her over multiple days at his Charlestown apartment in 2019, reports said.  The jury deliberated for only two hours after the sides wrapped up their cases in closing arguments around noon on Tuesday. The weeklong trial featured some graphic and unsettling testimony from Boston police detectives and the victim and a shocking reversal when Pena, 42, took the witness stand in his defense on Monday.  Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum said Pena walked the drunk woman from outside of a downtown Boston bar in January 2019 to his apartment, where he attacked her for "three days of hell."  In their closing argument, Pena's lawyer asked the jury to find him not guilty because of his diminished capacity.  "Because of a mental defect, he lacks criminal responsibility," his attorney told the jury, according to Abbey Niezgoda of NBC10.  Pena alleged in his testimony that the woman asked to go to his apartment after they met on the street. He said the relationship was consensual, but...
    A Trenton man was found guilty of murder, kidnapping, and other charges in the brutal slaying of a 20-year-old who was trying to buy a PlayStation4 for his younger brother, authorities announced. Akmal Alvaranga, 34, was convicted of murder, felony murder, kidnapping, robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a handgun on Thursday, June 16 following a three-week trial, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri said. Officers responding to a report of an unconscious man near the canal at Sixth Avenue and Assunpink Boulevard in Hamilton found the victim, Danny Diaz-Delgado, face down and unresponsive with his hands tied behind his back and tape around his face, suffering from several gunshot wounds to the torso, head, and leg around 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Evidence presented during the trial found that Alvaranga and his co-defendant, Rufus Thompson, had lured Diaz-Delgado to an alley in Trenton before kidnapping him at gunpoint, binding and gagging him, and holding him for hours in a garage, Onofri said. The pair then drove the victim to Hamilton...
    BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – A jury in Broomfield County found 29-year-old Shane Hammond guilty of second degree kidnapping a 12-year-old girl in 2019. Prosecutors say Hammond pushed the girl inside of his truck as she walked home from school. (credit: Broomfield Police Department) Even though Hammond was able to drive away, the girl escaped and ran home. (credit: Broomfield Police Department) “The girl recalled yelling ‘momma’ as she attempted to escape the kidnapping,” the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office reported on Monday. Hammond was arrested months later with the help of surveillance video. He’s now being held without bond until his sentencing on June 3.
    The FBI found flexible plastic handcuffs, a tactical vest, at least three firearms, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at the home of the alleged ringleader in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Authorities also seized a gas mask, zip ties, knives, and binoculars as they carried out a search warrant of the basement Adam Fox was living in prior to his October 2020 arrest, FBI special agent Brian Clark testified Friday in federal court. Fox and his three co-defendants, Barry Croft Jr., Brandon Caserta, and Daniel Harris, face up to life in prison if found guilty of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer. STAR WITNESS DETAILS METICULOUS PLANNING BEHIND WHITMER KIDNAPPING PLOT Defense lawyers argued prior to the trial that their clients, who are members of far-right anti-government militia groups, were set up by overzealous undercover FBI agents who manipulated their vehement disagreements with Whitmer's COVID-19 policies into a full-fledged plot to kidnap the Democratic governor. But two men who pleaded guilty for their involvement in the plot detailed to jurors during testimony...
    VALLEJO (CBS SF/AP) — Matthew Muller, who sexually assaulted a Vallejo woman who was kidnapped from her home in what police initially thought was a hoax, was sentenced Friday to 31 years in state prison. Muller, who already is serving a 40-year sentence for federal crimes, was sentenced in Solano County Superior Court after pleading no contest to two counts of forcible rape of Denise Huskins, who was dragged from her Vallejo home in 2015, the county district attorney’s office said. READ MORE: Black Tesla Employee Says Co-Workers Tormented Him With War RingtonesHe also pleaded guilty to robbery of an inhabited dwelling, residential burglary and false imprisonment. His state sentence will be served concurrently with the federal sentence. Muller, a Harvard-trained attorney and ex-Marine, concocted a plan so elaborate and bizarre that at first police accused the couple of lying, drawing national headlines. He used a remote-controlled drone to spy on Huskins and Aaron Quinn before he broke into their home with a fake gun on March 23, 2015, tied up the couple and made them drink a sleep-inducing liquid....
    GEOFFREY Paschel from 90 Day Fiancé was sentenced to 18 years behind bars after he was found guilty in the assault trial against him. The charges stemmed from a 2019 incident involving the reality star's former fiancée, Kristen Wilson. 590 Day Fiancé star Geoffrey Paschel was sentenced to 18 years in jailCredit: TLC 5The reality star was charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault, among other offensesCredit: Court TV In Touch Weekly was first to report that Geoffrey was sentenced to 18 years after he was found guilty on charges of aggravated kidnapping, domestic assault, and interference with emergency calls. He was initially due in court on December 3. Geoffrey's bond was revoked by judge Kyle Hixson and he was ordered into police custody in Knoxville, Tennessee. That hearing was postponed to this week. The former TLC star had an opportunity to address the court prior to his sentencing, according to In Touch. He said at the time: "I respect Ms. Chapman and Ms. Moon," and pleaded with the judge to go easy on him. Geoffrey was charged in connection...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A federal jury in Miami returned a guilty verdict against a man who kidnapped a plastic surgeon at gunpoint and later tortured him inside a storage container with a blow torch. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert F. Moore and Marc Chattah presented evidence that from late 2018 to early 2019, Serge Nkorina and his co-conspirator, Justin Boccio, plotted to kidnap and torture a victim in an attempt to obtain tens of thousands of dollars from him. READ MORE: Apparent Drowning Investigated In Coconut CreekThe victim had treated Nkorina’s wife. Federal officials said that to learn the victim’s daily movements, Nkorina and Boccio stalked the victim at home and work and placed a GPS tracker on the bottom of his car. To get ready for the torture session, Nkorina and Boccio purchased devices from hardware and medical supply stores and rented a storage container in Margate to use as the torture site, according to officials. READ MORE: 'We Must Continue To Take Key Measures To Protect Ourselves,' Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava On...
    GETTY A star of “90 Day Fiancé” has been found guilty of kidnapping and assault after testifying in court. According to InTouch Weekly, Geoffrey Paschel was found guilty of “aggravated kidnapping, domestic violence and interference with an emergency call.” Paschel appeared in court on October 7 and testified for himself in the case involving his ex-fiancée, Kristen Wilson. The couple began dating in 2017, split in 2018 and the incident happened on June 9, 2019. According to CourtTV (h/t InTouchWeekly) he, “grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against a wall” before she fled to a neighbor’s home. When the police arrived they saw visible injures on Wilson which Paschel claims were self-inflicted. Wilson also testified in court and recounted her memory of the events. “When I was screaming, I was trying to get away, but I couldn’t. He was too strong,” Chapman said (h/t CourtTV). A Knox County Officer, Matthew Johnson, also testified stating that Pashel also had injuries on his body. “She was also thrown to the ground and dragged. Paschel took the victim’s...
    GEOFFREY Paschel's mugshot has been revealed after he was found GUILTY of "kidnapping & beating" his ex-fiancé Kristen Wilson. The 90 Day Fiancé star testified in his own defense at his assault trial on Thursday for a domestic dispute. 5Geoffrey scowled in his mugshot after he was found GUILTYCredit: Knox County Sheriff's Office 5The reality star will return to court for his sentencing in DecemberCredit: TLC Geoffrey's mugshot has been released after he was found GUILTY of domestic abuse towards his ex Kristen. The reality star looked miserable in the image shared by Julie Grant, host of Court TV. The journalist confirmed his sentence in the caption of her post which read: "BOOKED! Former @TLC#90DayFiance star Geoffrey Paschel will stay in jail until he learns his sentence for the brutal beating of his ex-fiancée." Geoffrey was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping, domestic violence, and interference with an emergency call during the Thursday hearing. DOMESTIC DISPUTE Prior to the trial, the actor alleged that he was "100% categorically innocent." "These claims are the main reason I’ve been lambasted with such vitriol....
    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Five men accused of planning to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year because of her COVID-19 restrictions want to postpone their October trial until 2022. Attorneys said in a court filing that they’re still plowing through hours of audio secretly recorded by informants and FBI agents. They’re also “investigating recent developments” related to the conduct of agents. READ MORE: Michigan Hospital Leaders Renew Vaccination Plea Amid Deaths “It will be difficult to complete this investigation before the scheduled trial date,” the attorneys said Wednesday. Trial in federal court in Grand Rapids has been set for Oct. 12. The defendants would like a 90-day extension for all key dates in the case. Prosecutors must respond next week. READ MORE: Clovis Camp Site Discovered In St. Joseph County, Thought To Be Earliest Archaeological Site In Michigan The government said the five men conspired to kidnap Whitmer, a Democrat, even scouting her second home in northern Michigan. They’ve pleaded not guilty and claim to be victims of entrapment. The government’s case has been bolstered by the guilty plea of a...
    EVANSTON, Ill. -- More than two years after one of two ISIS soldiers refused to offer an apology for his role in the kidnapping and brutal murders of four Americans and other hostages in Syria, he has pleaded guilty in federal court.Alexanda Kotey appeared in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Thursday and pleaded guilty to all eight counts in the indictment, which include charges like conspiracy to commit hostage-taking resulting in death, hostage-taking resulting in death and conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization resulting in death.Kotey, 37, faces life without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced by Judge T.S. Ellis III on March 4, 2022, CNN reported.During the two-hour plea hearing, Kotey stood before the judge wearing a hunter green jumpsuit and admitted to his role that resulted in the deaths of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and American aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller, as well as British and Japanese nationals."Today is also a painful anniversary. Seven years ago, the world was devastated by images depicting the death...
    A Louisiana millionaire has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a kidnapping plot against his ex-wife which unraveled when the men who he'd hired to take her  drowned while trying to get away from police with her tied up in the back of their van. Lawrence Michael Handley, 53,  a recovering alcoholic, sold his healthcare company for $21million in 2015, two years before he filed for divorce from his wife, Schanda. The pair both claimed that the other had tried to have them killed.  In August 2017, two men - Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes - went to Schanda's home to kidnap her. They put a bag over her head, tied her up and threw her into the back of a van then set off.  Handley had hired them while he was high on meth and cocaine, according to his lawyer. It's unclear why Handley wanted to kidnap his ex or if he intended to kill her.  After placing Schanda in the back of their van at gunpoint, the two kidnappers drove away but they ran into traffic.  Rather than wait it out, they drove...
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jury finds South Carolina man guilty of kidnapping, murdering woman who mistook his car for her Uber ride in 2019. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    A MAN has pleaded guilty in the death of an 18-year-old Amish girl who was found strangled, stabbed and wrapped in a tarp in a shallow grave. Justo Smoker, 35, from Paradise, Pennsylvania, was charged with homicide in December and is currently awaiting trial. 4Justo Smoker, 35, has been charged with the abduction and murder of the 18-year-old girlCredit: Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office 4Amish teenager Linda Stoltzfoos, 18, went missing on June 21, 2020 Smoker had been initially arrested in August and he also faces charges of kidnapping and false imprisonment. He had previously pleaded not guilty. However, in a court hearing on Friday morning, Smoker entered a guilty plea in the death of Linda Stolzfoos. The cause of Stoltzfoos’ death was asphyxia from strangulation, along with suffocation, according to Lancaster County coroner Dr Stephen Diamantoni after an autopsy was carried out. He said a stab wound to her neck was a contributing factor in her death. Stoltzfoos’ remains were found wrapped in a tarp and buried in a three-foot deep grave in the town of Gap, Pennsylvania, alongside...
    SAN FRANCISCO — Two years after they were indicted on charges of plotting to commit a $3 million robbery of a marijuana-related cash shipment in Northern California, two of the three defendants have entered guilty pleas. The defendants, Emanoel Borisov and Evgeni Kopankov, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, the latter of which carries a potential life sentence. They entered the pleas last week before U.S. Disrict Judge Vince Chhabria. The prosecution against a third defendant, Paul Brooks, remains active, court records show. Borisov and Kopankov are set to be sentenced in late September. According to the criminal complaint, filed in April 2019, the three plotted to rob a large-scale marijuana grower in Northern California, agreeing that Borisov and Kopankov would do “the hard part” by kidnapping a courier and forcing the man to reveal the location of a $3 million cash stash at a Humboldt County property. Kopankov, who knew the would-be victims, allegedly planned to spread false rumors that “Mexicans” were upset with them, in order to misdirect blame after...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two Minneapolis men have been found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and kidnapping charges in the death of 28-year-old realtor Monique Baugh a year and a half ago. Forty-two-year-old Cedric Berry and 41-year-old Berry Davis were also convicted on attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Baugh’s boyfriend. On the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2019, a man with a black mask entered a home on the 4800 block of Humboldt Avenue North and shot Baugh’s boyfriend four times while he was sitting on the steps to the second floor. The victim’s two young daughters were also present. The victim was rushed to the hospital and survived. Baugh’s mother later noted that the keys dropped by the shooter belonged to Baugh, who would normally be home at that time of day, the complaint said. Then, at 6:38 p.m. that day, three shots were fired in an alley on the 1300 block of Russell Avenue North. Upon officers’ arrival, Baugh was found dead from three bullet wounds with her hands bound by tape. Charges stated that investigation found Baugh...
    Three Georgia men have all pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes in the slaying of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery. Greg McMichael, 65, his son Travis McMichael, 35, and a neighbor William 'Roddie' Bryan, 51, entered their pleas during their arraignment before a federal judge in Brunswick on Tuesday.  Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was chased and shot while out jogging in Brunswick back in February 2020.   Greg and his Travis are accused of arming themselves and pursuing Arbery in a pickup truck after he ran past their home on February 23, 2020.  Bryan allegedly joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis shooting Arbery three times at close range with a shotgun.  Travis McMichael, 35, his father Greg McMichael, 65, and a neighbor William 'Roddie' Bryan, 51, (left to right) entered their pleas during their arraignment before a federal judge in Brunswick, Georgia on Tuesday Greg and Travis McMichael are accused of arming themselves and pursuing Arbery in a pickup truck after he ran past their home on February 23, 2020. Bryan, who is a neighbor, allegedly joined...
    TWO teens have been found guilty of kidnapping a pair of brothers aged two and four after stealing their dad's car while they were still inside. Detectives in Birmingham were called by a "distraught dad" back in February when his Seat Leon went missing with his young sons inside. A small child is held by cops after a car was stolen from a driveway with two children inside Officers rushed to the scene along with dog units and a police helicopter. It was only when armed cops swooped in that the car was brought to a halt on the A38 Bristol Road close to the Bullring shopping centre. Officials from West Midlands Police said at the time that both little ones were found "safe and well inside the car" before being "reunited with their parents at the roadside". The boy who drove the the Nissan Note, 15, claimed he took the car to settle a £40 drug debt, snatching it as its engine was left running in the Selly Park area of Birmingham. SNATCH HORROR But the defendants, both 15 at the time, claimed...
    A 41-year-old man has been convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman at a motel in Shrewsbury after a jury-waived trial in Worcester Superior Court. Edward Lacey of Worcester was found guilty on Friday, March 19 of kidnapping, two counts of rape, three counts of indecent assault and battery, strangulation, threat to commit a crime, and assault and battery. He was found not guilty of assault with intent to murder. Judge David Ricciardone presided over the four-day trial. The judge set Thursday, April 1 for sentencing. Lacey was arrested by Shrewsbury Police on May 12, 2018, and charged with raping and assaulting a woman at the Worcester City Motel on Route 9 (Boston Turnpike) in Shrewsbury. He was indicted on Sept. 14, 2018. Assistant District Attorney Lina Pashou prosecuted the case.
    NEW YORK - An Afghan man pleaded not guilty on Monday in Manhattan federal court to six counts related to the 2008 kidnapping of a U.S. journalist and two Afghan nationals in Afghanistan. Haji Najibullah faces charges including kidnapping, hostage taking, conspiracy, and using a machine gun to further violent crimes. Each count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The indictment did not name the journalist, but a law enforcement official familiar with the matter told Reuters the case involved David Rohde, a former New York Times and Reuters correspondent who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008. "Not guilty. I am not involved in any of this," Najibullah said through an interpreter at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla. The U.S. Department of Justice said that on Nov. 10, 2008, Najibullah and other co-conspirators carrying machine guns abducted Rohde and the two Afghans who were assisting him, and soon forced them to hike from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Prosecutors said the victims were held captive for seven months, and Najibullah recorded a video of...
    A former dog race musher has been found guilty of a 2001 cold case rape and kidnapping of a woman who escaped him by jumping from a moving vehicle.  Carmen Perzechino, 59, a former Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher, was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday at a Kenai courthouse for the 20 January 2001 rape and kidnapping of Anna Sattler, who was 30 years old at the time of the crime.  Sattler, who grew up in the native Yup'ik communities of Western Alaska, said she had an argument with her friends on the night of the incident when Perzechino offered her a lift home.  She said he parked along a stretch of highway on the Kenai Peninsula and raped her, chasing after her each time she tried to break free and run through the woods.  Carmen Perzechino was found guilt of rape and kidnapping in cold case from 2001 on Wednesday. In the Zoom proceeding screenshot are, from upper left, Superior Court Judge Jennifer Wells, defendant Carmen Perzechino, defense attorney Andy Pevehouse. Lower left, investigator Mike Burkmire and...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to kidnap a Chinese citizen who was held for ransom but died of his injuries after the abduction, authorities said. Anthony Valladares, 28, of Pasadena entered the plea in connection with the 2018 kidnapping of Ruochen “Tony" Liao of Santa Ana from a Los Angeles-area shopping mall, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office. Liao owned a Southern California dealership that sold high-end cars such as Porches and Bentleys. Federal prosecutors contend that Valladares was hired as “muscle” when Liao was lured into a minivan in the parking lot of the mall in San Gabriel. Liao’s parents in China were sent ransom demands for $2 million and ordered to deposit payment in Chinese bank accounts, according to court documents. However, the money wasn’t paid, authorities said. Liao was badly beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun during the snatching. He was believed to have been held in a closet at a home in Corona and died the day after the kidnapping and was buried...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to kidnap a Chinese citizen who was held for ransom but died of his injuries after the abduction, authorities said. Anthony Valladares, 28, of Pasadena entered the plea in connection with the 2018 kidnapping of Ruochen “Tony” Liao of Santa Ana from a Los Angeles-area shopping mall, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office. Liao owned a Southern California dealership that sold high-end cars such as Porches and Bentleys. Federal prosecutors contend that Valladares was hired as “muscle” when Liao was lured into a minivan in the parking lot of the mall in San Gabriel. Liao’s parents in China were sent ransom demands for $2 million and ordered to deposit payment in Chinese bank accounts, according to court documents. However, the money wasn’t paid, authorities said. Liao was badly beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun during the snatching. He was believed to have been held in a closet at a home in Corona and died the day after the kidnapping and was buried...
    SALT LAKE CITY (KABC) -- A tech worker pleaded guilty on Wednesday to strangling a Utah college student whose disappearance over a year ago sparked a search that ended with the discovery of her charred remains in his backyard.Ayoola A. Ajayi acknowledged he planned the death of 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck, whom he met on a dating app and arranged to meet in a park. After they returned to his home, he bound and strangled her, then burned and hid her body while police and loved ones searched for her, his lawyer said in court.Ajayi pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and desecration of a corpse in an agreement with prosecutors that removed the possibility of the death penalty. Prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated kidnapping and obstructing justice.Ajayi also pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a different woman he met on a dating app. He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said the guilty pleas allow Lueck's parents to begin to get closure and a "measure of justice." Gill...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An Azusa man was arraigned on Friday for allegedly being involved in the 2018 kidnapping and death of a luxury car dealer. 24-year-old Alexis Ivan Romero Velez pleaded not guilty on the federal charge and is accused of driving a minivan vehicle in the scheme to abduct 28-year-old Ruochen “Tony” Liao. The incident, allegedly orchestrated by Chinese nationals 26-year-old Guangyao Yang and 34-yeear-old Peicheng Shen, happened on July 16, 2018. Suspect Anthony Valladares was allegedly used as the “muscle” in the scheme that involved Liao being kidnapped from the San Gabriel Square shopping plaza, held for $2 million ransom, beaten, killed and buried in the Mojave desert. After Liao was abducted, his parents in China received ransom demands implying he had been badly beaten, blindfolded and tied up. They were told to deposit a $2 million into Chinese bank accounts within three hours but did not pay the ransom, according to court documents. Investigators say at the time, Liao was inside a closet at a Corona home and shocked with a Taser until the battery ran...
    CHARGES against a man who allegedly "gagged and assaulted" a woman during a "night of terror" were thrown out. With the dropped charges, Kevin Woodrum is now eligible for parole, WCHS reported. 4Kevin Woodrum was accused of torturing a woman in a 'night of terror'Credit: Boone County Sheriff's Office 4Prosecutors dropped multiple charges against Woodrum as he was ordered a new trialCredit: WCHS/WVAH Woodrum was found guilty of kidnapping, malicious assault, domestic battery and assault during commission of a felony during a trial in West Virginia in September 2018. In May of this year, however, a new trial was ordered by the West Virginia Supreme Court, WCHS reported. Woodrum argued in seeking a new trial that the element of "transportation" in kidnapping was omitted in his case. "That statute criminalizes the unlawful restraint of another person with the intent to transport another person with the intent to inflict bodily injury or to terrorize the victim," a Supreme Court ruling stated. "It does not criminalize the unlawful restraint of another person with the intent to terrorize the victim, as the circuit...
    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A 22-year-old Albuquerque woman has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for her role in the kidnapping and assault of two men, one of whom died and was mutilated. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Mariah Ferry was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty earlier this year to kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap. Ferry is accused along with her then-boyfriend and two friends of killing 41-year-old John Soyka and kidnapping and torturing Matthew Tressler. The group allegedly carried out the crime because they believed the men had stolen marijuana from Ferry’s boyfriend’s home. Her boyfriend, 32-year-old Chase Smothermon, also pleaded guilty to kidnapping Tressler and to conspiracy to kidnap. He faces between 40 and 60 years in prison but hasn’t been sentenced. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: New Mexico
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