Wednesday, October 17, 2012

All You Need to Know About Kidnapping in Kentucky

Pursuant to WLKY: A Louisville man named David Mitchell is accused of trying to kidnap a child after police said he grabbed a child at the L&N Building on Broadway.  Mitchell faces an attempted kidnapping charge.

According to the police, a 1-year-old child was playing on the floor near Mitchell. When Mitchell’s friend came out of an office area, Mitchell reached down, grabbed the child’s arm and tried to leave the building, police said.

The child’s mother yelled and chased Mitchell and her child, according to the report. Police said Mitchell dropped the child in the foyer area and took off.  According to a warrant, Mitchell could be seen on video surveillance grabbing the child and leaving.

Kidnapping is a serious charge in Kentucky.  In this particular instance, Mr. Mitchell is actually accused of trying to take a child.  In most cases, however, Kidnapping is used as a supplementary charge in cases like burglary, robbery, and rape.  I hope I don’t actually have to tell anyone this, but victims in kidnapping cases do NOT have to be “kids.” 

A lot of people believe that the victim has to be taken somewhere else in order to be kidnapped.  That’s not true.  Let’s dive into the statute, shall we?

Pursuant to KRS 509.040, Kidnapping is defined as follows:

(1) A person is guilty of kidnapping when he unlawfully restrains another person and when his intent is:
(a) To hold him for ransom or reward; or
(b) To accomplish or to advance the commission of a felony; or
(c) To inflict bodily injury or to terrorize the victim or another; or
(d) To interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function; or
(e) To use him as a shield or hostage; or
(f) To deprive the parents or guardian of the custody of a minor, when the person taking the minor is not a person exercising custodial control or supervision of the minor as the term "person exercising custodial control or supervision" is defined in KRS 600.020.

(2) Kidnapping is a Class B felony when the victim is released alive and in a safe place prior to trial, except as provided in this section. Kidnapping is a Class A felony when the victim is released alive but the victim has suffered serious physical injury during the kidnapping, or as a result of not being released in a safe place, or as a result of being released in any circumstances which are intended, known or should have been known to cause or lead to serious physical injury. Kidnapping is a capital offense when the victim is not released alive or when the victim is released alive but subsequently dies as a result of:
(a) Serious physical injuries suffered during the kidnapping; or
(b) Not being released in a safe place; or
(c) Being released in any circumstances which are intended, known or should have been known to cause or lead to the victim's death.

Subsection (1)(b) is the subsection that is typically used in Burglary, Robbery or Rape cases, as mentioned, supra.  If a suspect breaks into a home and ties up a couple in order to steal from them, the suspect can be guilty of both Burglary AND Kidnapping.

Subject to subsection (2), the condition of the victim – whether “harmed” or “unharmed” – can determine whether the offender will face a Class B or Class A felony.  Obviously this is a pretty big deal because it can mean the difference between life in prison or getting out and having some sort of life outside prison walls.  Class B felonies carry a penalty of 10-20 years.  Class A felonies are the most serious felonies in Kentucky – offenders face a penalty of 20 years – life in prison.

I’m sure most of the individuals reading this material will never have to know this information.  But I hope you found it informative.

Simms & Reed, PLLC.  Idividual Attention.  Extraordinary Results.

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