Jaterrio Brooks turned himself in to police this past week. According to reports, he admitted to attacking the mother of his child and kidnapping her after attempting to kidnap his child.
The incidents were apparently captured on video via a witness' cellphone. Brooks has been charged with:
Police reports revealed that authorities arrived to a scene where a man and a woman were fighting. Brooks allegedly blocked the victim's car with his own not allowing her to leave. The videos show Brooks pulling on the left rear window of her car in an attempt to enter the vehicle, and at one point, he held her by her throat. He then allegedly dragged the victim to his car, threw her in, and drove off.
The victim is reported to have been found safe and sound later that day.
In today's post, I'll be focusing on Brooks' kidnapping charge so as to provide better insight as to what exactly constitutes the crime in Georgia.
Kidnapping in Georgia
Georgia Law defines the offense of kidnapping in Georgia as:
A person commits the offense of kidnapping when such person abducts or steals away another person without lawful authority or warrant and holds such other person against his or her will. O.C.G.A. §16-5-40.
In order to be convicted of kidnapping, the prosecution will have to prove that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If found guilty and convicted of kidnapping, then he or she will be convicted of a felony.
There are different types of punishment for this felony charge depending on the circumstances. If the victim is 14 or older, the prison sentence is between ten and twenty years. But if the victim is younger than 14, the prison sentence is heightened to either a life sentence or a minimum of twenty years with probation for life after release.
The consequences get even harsher if the kidnapping was for a ransom or if any bodily injury occurred to the victim. The prison sentence will be for life or the death penalty.
No one should ever be assumed guilty of a crime just because he or she has been accused of committing that offense.
There are specific Georgia Criminal Defenses that can be applied in a Georgia kidnapping case. These defenses include but are not limited to:
- The victim was not actually moved.
- The victim consented to being moved.
- The victim was a child who needed protection.