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Detroit man guilty of kidnapping 2 Indianapolis teens

September 28, 2016

Federal prosecutors will seek a life sentence for a Detroit man convicted of two counts of kidnapping for abducting the teenage siblings of his former girlfriend after she allegedly stole money and drugs from him, they announced Tuesday.

John Thomas, 39, also was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping following a six-day trial that ended Monday, prosecutors said. He's due to be sentenced Dec. 8.

Prosecutors alleged Thomas and five co-defendants abducted Aaron Blackwell, then 16, and his then-13-year-old sister, Emma, from their Indianapolis home at gunpoint on March 2, 2015. The abductions came three days after the theft of thousands of dollars in cash, a kilogram of cocaine and 4,000 OxyContin pills by Thomas' former girlfriend, 29-year-old Whitney Blackwell, who then drove to Indianapolis with her 6-year-old son.

Testimony in court indicated Thomas was a drug dealer from Detroit, and, following the theft, he and his co-conspirators traveled to Indianapolis in search of Whitney Blackwell before the home invasion and abductions, prosecutors said.

Aaron was thrown in a trunk before being driven to Detroit. He was eventually freed by police there. Emma was driven first to Kentucky and then to a Dayton, Ohio, fast-food restaurant before her kidnappers sent her home in a cab.

The five others have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and await sentencing, prosecutors said.

Whitney Blackwell pleaded guilty to possession of a narcotic drug and was sentenced in June to serve probation.
 

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