A Missouri man is set to stand trial in Sussex County Superior Court for allegedly kidnapping a New Jersey businessman.
According to prosecutors, the suspect and another man came up with the plot to kidnap a Mahwah New Jersey money broker.
The kidnapping plot was reportedly hatched with the goal of recouping $500,000 that one of the kidnappers lost as the result of a failed business venture. The intended victim had failed to get sufficient investments for a proposed golf course development in Utah, causing a substantial loss for one of the partners in the deal. This prompted one of the suspects to hire a group of individuals to kidnap the other business partner.
The suspects allegedly abducted the victim outside of J&G Pet Foods, a pet shop in Newton NJ. According to the police, the suspects used a stun gun to knock out the victim and throw him into a car trunk. However, the suspects reportedly grabbed the wrong man.
The suspects allegedly drove the kidnapping victim for 1,200 miles and across five state lines. The car eventually broke down in Missouri, where the victim managed to free himself from the car trunk and run away. When the suspects chased after him, a store clerk saw what was happening and contacted local police.
The suspects were arrested by local law enforcement a short time later.
One of the suspects who already pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges has been sentenced to 18 years in NJ State Prison.
Now the trial is about to begin for another suspect in the case, with jury selection already occurring and opening arguments expected sometime in April 2015.
The trial is expected to last quite some time because prosecutors and defense attorneys have to arrange for several out-of-state witnesses to take the stand.
Prosecutors in the case initially offered the suspect a plea deal which would have required him to serve 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. However, the suspect rejected the offer. As a result, the suspect now faces a potential life sentence if he is convicted.
For further information about this case, see the NJ.com article entitled “Trial to Begin for Missouri Man Accused of Kidnapping Wrong N.J. Businessman.”