Federal law enforcement officials recently announced the arrest of a 28-year-old man on charges that he participated in a conspiracy to kidnap a 14-year-old Georgia girl last month.
The man is accused of being part of a home invasion in Clayton County that turned into a kidnapping. The man is also charged with firing a gun during the incident, officials said.
Officials noted that the man accused of planning and leading the home invasion identified the defendant just arrested.
A third man is still sought by FBI agents and other law enforcement agencies.
The two men in custody were both recently indicted by a federal grand jury.
The Ellenwood girl was reportedly taken at gunpoint from the home where she lives with her mother, brother and her mother’s boyfriend.
According to reports, the men entered the residence and demanded cash and jewelry. When their demands were not met, they reportedly removed the teen from the house and left in a vehicle, later calling her family to demand $10,000 for her safe return.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the alleged leader of the plot gave to officials the name of the man just arrested, and also picked him out of mugshots shown to him by FBI agents.
According to the newspaper, the girl had been wearing pajamas at the time of the alleged kidnapping. An Atlanta area department store later was found to have surveillance video of one of the alleged kidnappers with his girlfriend, shopping for clothes for the teen.
Obviously, these men face extremely serious charges that carry the potential for long federal prison sentences. In our media-driven world, it’s easy to make assumptions about guilt before all the facts are in.
We should be glad that we all have rights and liberties that can be ably defended at trial by criminal defense attorneys.
Source: AJC.com, “Another arrest made in kidnapping of Clayton County teen,” Marcus K. Garner, Oct. 16, 2013