Articles Posted in Kidnapping

The good people of Salt Lake City have been chomping at the bit for a currentt trial. It has been a long time in coming. It is the trial of the alleged abductor of Elizabeth Smart. 57-year-old Brian David Mitchell (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) is the man accused. After approximately 8 years of delay, and a change of jurisdiction, he is finally going to get his “day” in court.

Jury selection in the criminal trial started yesterday.

The Defendant faces federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines – for allegedly taking Smart to San Diego in the 2002 abduction. If convicted, the Defendant, who was once an itinerant street preacher could spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.

As Ms. Smart’s father said of the trial last week, “It’s certainly been a long time coming”.

The matter began as a state prosecution back in 2003. Back then, the Defendant was charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault…in state court. That prosecution got stalled after the Defendant was diagnosed with a delusional disorder and deemed incompetent to stand trial.
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On Friday, Boston’s Supreme Judicial Court, the highest state court in the Commonwealth, passed down a ruling that underscores the contractual aspect of being on probation, particularly in sexual assault cases.

The ruling indicates that new probation restrictions cannot be imposed on sex offenders – such as wearing a GPS device or banning them from playgrounds — until after they violate their probation.

The case in which the issue came up was that of Ralph G. (hereinafter, the “Probationer”). The Probationer is a Level 3 sex offender who was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 7-year-old boy in 1990. After a post-conviction hearing, a jury finding him to not be “sexually dangerous” any longer, the Superior Court ordered him to get sex offender counseling and maintain mental health care. No other limits were placed on him, such as limiting where he could go or the wearing of a GPS device.

However, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. Was not satisfied with this. His office wanted the Probationer to wear a GPS and to be banned from playgrounds, schools, and libraries.
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Luther M. Henderson has been arraigned on charges of Brockton, Massachusetts armed kidnapping, armed robbery, and witness intimidation. The 35-year-old man is accused of robbing a female escort that he had contacted through Craiglist at gunpoint.

On July 9, Henderson allegedly offered to pay her for her sexual services. At the house where they were to meet, he allegedly held her at gunpoint, told her to take her clothes off, made her put on zip-cuffs, and stole her money, laptop, purse, and cellphone from her car.

Henderson is also under investigation in connection to another Massachusetts armed robbery crime, also involving an escort contacted through Craigslist. The woman was also told to take off her clothes before her kidnapper stole from her.

Massachusetts Kidnapping
The crime of kidnapping in Massachusetts involves the illegal and forcible imprisonment of someone against his or her will. The kidnapping can occur within the state or involve taking someone out of state. A conviction for Massachusetts kidnapping comes with a maximum 10-year prison sentence-15 years, if the victim is younger than 16. A conviction for armed kidnapping comes with a mandatory 2 ½ year sentence if the case goes through the district courts. If it goes through the superior courts, then conviction comes with a 10-year prison sentence. Kidnapping another person with the intention of extorting money comes with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Craigslist Escorts are Robbed,, August 14, 2010
Brockton man accused of making Craigslist escorts strip naked at gunpoint before robbing them, Patriot Ledger, August 13, 2010

Related Web Resources:
CraigsList Massachusetts

The General Laws of Massachusetts
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Jaime Collazo and Christopher Colecchi have been arrested and arraigned in a Massachusetts criminal case involving a stolen car that had two sleeping children in it. The alleged car theft and kidnapping are said to have occurred early on the morning of July 12. The two Worcester men are accused of stealing a 2002 Toyota Sienna from outside a Gulf gas station while its driver was in the station.

Police were contacted and within minutes an officer found the car parked at the corner of Lafayette and Scott. The children were still in the vehicle and hadn’t been harmed.

Following a foot chase, Collazo was arrested and charged with Massachusetts kidnapping and trespassing. He is accused of forcing his way into the building where police found him.

Meantime, Colecchi, who is accused of then stealing another car, was pursued by cops on the I-290 first in cars and then on foot after he crashed the vehicle. Colecchi is charged with two counts of kidnapping, operating a vehicle as to endanger, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, leaving the scene of property damage, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and possession of Class B substance. His criminal defense lawyer told the Telegram that the 36-year-old man is being overcharged. He says that whoever took the first car got out at once upon discovering that there were children inside the vehicle.

Van Stolen With Sleeping Children Inside, WCVB, July 13, 2010
Two suspects arrested for kidnapping,, July 12, 2010

Related Web Resource:
Crimes against the Person, General Laws of Massachusetts Continue reading

Bryan Harris, a South End resident, was arrested by police on Friday. The 26-year-old Boston man was charged with Massachusetts unarmed robbery, parental kidnapping, larceny over $250, assault and battery, and a dangerous weapon unlawfully carried. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

According to Boston police, a woman contacted police on Friday afternoon to report that Harris, her live-in boyfriend, had kidnapped their 1-year-old girl. She claims that she and Harris had gotten into a verbal dispute and when she asked him to leave he allegedly punched her face and shoved her into a closet.

The woman says that Harris then packed his clothes, stole her cell phone and debit card, and told her he was leaving the state with their daughter.

The authorities sent out an alert. Police later apprehended Harris on a Fung Wah bus on the Massachusetts Turnpike. The bus was going to New York. His daughter, Estrada, was with him. Harris surrendered to the cops.

Massachusetts Parental Kidnapping
Under state law, the kidnapping of a minor or incompetent by a relative is considered a crime that is punishable by a one-year maximum prison sentence and/or a $1,000 fine. If the child is endangered in the process or taken outside the commonwealth, a maximum 5-year prison sentence and/or a $5,000 fine is possible.

Man is arrested after allegedly fleeing with baby girl, The Boston Globe, June 25, 2010
Related Web Resource:
Parental Kidnapping Statutes, NDAA (PDF)

The General Laws of Massachusetts
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Message from a Boston criminal defense attorney to Ms. Kimberly J., 38 (hereinafter, the :Defendant”) – it is not as bad as you think.

It is actually worse.

The Defendant had been wanted by Massachusetts law enforcement in the alleged kidnapping Thursday of her half-sister’s one-year-old daughter. She has been apprehended in Altona, Pennsilvania and immediately arrested by investigating officers. The Defendant had been staying at a women’s shelter where she is said to have been using an alias and a stolen I.D.

Lest you think she is inconsistent, though, she was also allegedly driving a stolen vehicle .

The one that was apparently used in the abduction.
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Wanda Eileen Barzee, the woman charged with kidnapping teenager Elizabeth Smart in 2002, has pleaded guilty to federal charges of unlawful transportation of a minor and kidnapping. The 64-year-old says she will plead guilty to state charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping.

At her court hearing on Tuesday, Barzee issued an apology to Smart for the role she played in the teenager’s abduction. As part of Barzee’s plea agreement, she will help prosecutors with their federal and state criminal cases against Brian David Mitchell, who is her husband.

Now that she has pleaded guilty, Barzee is expected to serve 15 years in federal prison. Her formal sentencing has not yet taken place. If Barzee had been convicted, she might have been sentenced to life in prison.

Mitchell and Barzee are accused of kidnapping Smart, then age 14, from her home. Barzee has admitted that she encouraged her husband to abduct the young girl and that they planned the kidnapping together.

In her plea agreement, Barzee says that she helped her husband control, confine, sexually assault, and transport Smart out of state and back. Smart was found with the couple nine months after her abduction.

Barzee, who was been staying at a Utah State Hospital, was recently declared competent to stand trial following years of being forced to take psychotropic drugs while at the mental hospital. Her husband’s competency hearing is scheduled to continue on November 30. His defense attorney says that he is incompetent and cannot defend himself during a criminal trial.

Kidnapper apologizes to Elizabeth Smart, will cooperate,, November 18, 2009
Captor of Elizabeth Smart to serve 15 years, Los Angeles Times, November 18, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Read the Plea Agreement (PDF)

Timeline of Smart Case
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On Monday night, a Boston Police Officer, along with his sidekick, a valet, grabbed an alleged knife-wielding carjacker who had robbed a woman of her pocketbook. The chosen victim was a 61-year old female. Now, the suspect needs a good lawyer if he has any hopes of seeing the light of day anytime soon.

It began at approximately 7:31 pm for the officer. He was approached by a parking valet who reported that a woman was just robbed of her purse and the suspect was running down the street. The officer was then supplied with a description of the suspect and directed to the area where he was last seen.

The officer and parking valet then ran down Congress Street towards Quaker Lane where an individual was observed and identified by the parking valet as the perpetrator. As the officer approached Richard M., 48, of Boston (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). The Defendant was apparently seen to be concealing what appeared to be a purse under his shirt. The officer also observed him to have a large knife in his right hand. The officer ordered the suspect to drop the knife to which he complied. At this time, the suspect was given the Commonwealth Bracelets of Shame while the officer further investigated the matter.
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In court on Friday, registered sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy pleaded not guilty to 29 felony charges in the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard. Dugard was just 11 when the couple abducted her in 1991 while she was walking to her school bus stop. Her stepfather saw the abduction but was unable to stop it.

The Garridos are each charged with:

• 1 count of kidnapping someone younger than age 14
• 1 count of kidnapping for sexual purposes • 4 counts of forcible rape with a special allegation of one strike • 2 counts of forcible rape • 7 counts of a forcible lewd act on a child, with special allegation of kidnapping a victim younger than age 14 for sex • 1 count of false imprisonment by violence with special allegations of use of force, violent sex offenses, a stranger victim, and substantial sexual conduct with someone younger than 14
Phillip Garrido is also charged with a special allegation of 2/3 strikes because he has two prior convictions for kidnapping and forcible rape.

The couple is accused of keeping Dugard in sheds in their backyard for 18 years. While in captivity, Dugard bore two children, now 11 and 15, that Garrido fathered. The kids have never seen a doctor or gone to school.

On Tuesday, Garrido and his two daughters were stopped at the University of California at Berkeley campus where he was trying to give out literature and speak. Police approached him because they felt that the dynamic between him and the two girls was “suspicious.” A background check revealed that Garrido had been convicted for kidnapping and rape in 1971 and had served time in prison.

Garrido was asked to appear at his parole office the following day. He showed up with his wife and a woman named Allissa. The parole officer had never seen Allissa or the two girls. Allissa was later identified as Dugard and Garrido has admitted to kidnapping her. Phillip says he is relieved that he was finally caught. Police had been searching for Dugard for almost two decades.

Couple faces 29 felony counts, life in jail in kidnapping,, August 28, 2009
Jaycee Lee Dugard Found After 18 Years, Kidnap Suspect Allegedly Fathered Her Kids, ABC News, August 27, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Map: Antioch home of Garrido and Jaycee Lee Dugard, Mercury News, August 27, 2009
Jaycee Dugard is Missing, MySpace Page Continue reading

Massachusetts prosecutors are accusing a 26-year-old Hanover man of kidnapping, attempting to rape, and injecting a 6-year-old girl with an unknown substance. During his arraignment in Hingham District Court yesterday, Justin Shine pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted rape, kidnapping, assault and battery, and resisting arrest. He is being held without bond until his dangerousness hearing, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

Among the allegations against Shine:
• He was high on cocaine when he abducted the girl.
• He got her to enter his apartment by telling her he had gerbils and guinea pigs.
• He injected her with a substance that made her drowsy.
• He bound her hands using black tape, shackled her ankles, and put tape on her mouth.

As police searched the apartment complex for the girl, Shine slit his own wrist. The girl either was let go or escaped. She did not sustain physical injuries. Police claim that Shine resisted arrest but they were able to subdue him.

Neighbors say that the Shine and the girl live near each other in Hanover Woods, a Massachusetts apartment complex.

Kidnapping consists of secretly or forcibly imprisoning a person or keeping the victim confined against his or her will. This crime can comes with a maximum 10-year prison sentence in Massachusetts. A defendant convicted of kidnapping could be ordered to face a lengthier prison sentence if he or she used a dangerous weapon when committing the crime, caused serious sexual or other physical injury to the victim, kidnapped a person younger than age 16, or abducted someone for monetary gain.

Kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, and kidnapping with the intent to extort money are serious criminal offenses in Massachusetts. You cannot battle these charges without the help of an experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer. There may be insufficient evidence in your kidnapping case, or the alleged crime may be one involving mistaken identity or a misunderstanding. Your Massachusetts defense attorney can combat the charges that were filed against you.

DA details alleged kidnapping in Hanover,, June 29, 2009
Girl’s Horror In Hanover Kidnapping Revealed, WBZ, June 29, 2009
Related Web Resources:
The General Laws of Massachusetts

National Child Kidnapping Facts, Polly Klaas Foundation Continue reading

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