Federal kidnapping charges loom for Atlanta-area man

Just a few miles south of Atlanta, a news story broke in September that quickly had the attention of people across the nation. Readers will undoubtedly recall that law enforcement officials said a Clayton County home had been subject to a predawn invasion by several men.

Officials said the men kidnapped a 14-year-old girl during the home invasion. Now the FBI is looking for a 19-year-old man who faces federal charges related to the Sept. 17 incident.

The man was recently indicted in the case and is now being sought by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Two other men were previously arrested and are in federal custody on kidnapping charges and other allegations.

According to police, two armed men entered the back door of the house about 15 miles south of Atlanta, near Ellenwood. Inside the residence were the girl, her younger brother, her mother and her mother’s boyfriend.

The men are accused of demanding cash and jewelry before shooting the family’s dog and kidnapping the teen.

Later, officials say, the three men began calling the family offering an exchange of cash and drugs for the 14-year-old.

The teen was dropped off the next day at a Conyers home of a relative.

Within hours, one of the men was arrested on his way to a Fulton County courtroom for a hearing on an unrelated matter. He reportedly named a second man as an accomplice; that man was taken into custody in mid-October.

In a highly publicized case such as this, the court of public opinion has typically made its decision. Fortunately for defendants, that’s not the court that matters most. An attorney experienced in successfully defending clients facing serious federal charges can vigorously defend rights and freedom in a federal courtroom, where decisions really count.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “3rd suspect sought in Clayton kidnapping,” by Marcus Garner, Dec. 12, 2013