Monday, January 21, 2013

Bardstown Cracker Barrel Kidnapper!

It has long been known that Cracker Barrel is a hotbed of criminal activity.  

Over the past week, it seems that the stakes have been raised concerning your safety at the local Cracker Barrel restaurant.  This marks one of the creepiest occurrences to happen in Bardstown, Kentucky for years.  Normally, Bardstown is just known for being the most beautiful small town in America.

Apparently there's a guy (and a younger accomplice) riding around looking for women to abduct.  The most frightening piece of evidence to come out of this story is that he has a cage in the back of his unmarked, white van.  

So be super careful coming out of the Cracker Barrel until this guy is caught.  Lest you be snagged and thrust into some weird "put the lotion on its skin" scenario.

Let's talk about kidnapping.  Today we'll go over the elements of the offense and the punishment for the crime.  Kidnapping is a serious charge in Kentucky.  In this particular instance, Buffalo Bill is attempting to take a woman and keep her in a cage.  That's not really normal in the sense of how the crime is usually charged.

...or in any sense, I suppose.

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” in order for the perpetrator to have committed kidnapping in Kentucky.

A lot of people believe that the victim has to be taken somewhere else and held captive (Buffalo Bill style) 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 the difference between harming the victim and not harming the victim 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 for the perpetrator.  Class B felonies in Kentucky carry a penalty of 10-20 years.  Class A felonies are the most serious felonies in Kentucky – offenders face a penalty of 20 years to life in prison.

Further, if the victim dies as a result of injuries sustained during the kidnapping, this crime can be prosecuted as a capital offense.  That means that the punishment can be the death penalty.

Now you know all about kidnapping in Kentucky.  And the next time someone brings up the creepy guy who goes to Cracker Barrel in the white van, you can tell them all about how the kidnapping statute in Kentucky makes it a much more serious crime to harm or kill a victim during the course of the kidnapping.

And then your co-workers will want to know why you've been studying kidnapping statutes.  You're welcome.

If you have any more questions about kidnapping, please don't hesitate to ask.  502.618.4949.

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

See below for the Courier Journal story:

1 comment:

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