A Louisiana millionaire admitted to setting up the kidnapping of his estranged wife — soon after his two hired henchmen drowned when attempting to evade authorities, botching the plot.
Lawrence Michael Handley pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of next-degree kidnapping of Schanda Handley and her then-14-12 months-aged daughter and a single count of second-degree kidnapping of neighbor Michelle Chaisson in August 2017.
Prosecutors mentioned Handley hired Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes, the two 27, to kidnap Schanda from her Lafayette property on Aug. 6, 2017.
The two adult men busted into the home to uncover an grownup neighbor and Schanda’s 14-year outdated daughter inside, who they handcuffed and still left inside the property ahead of driving Schanda away in a van, in accordance to Donald Landry, District Lawyer for Louisiana’s 15th Judicial Court docket.
Sheriff’s deputies attempted to cease the van for driving erratically, prompting the kidnappers to attempt to velocity off, eventually finding pinned by legislation enforcement at the close of a useless-end street.
The gentlemen tried to escape by leaping into a canal and drowned, the DA’s office environment said. Schanda was rescued from the van by Iberville Parish Sheriff deputies.
Handley — who designed his fortune in the technology sector, as well as by promoting nutritional vitamins and other supplements — was arrested at a hotel on Aug. 11 right after he tried out to constitution a plane, in accordance to Usa These days.
Detectives from the Lafayette Law enforcement Office received movies and other evidence of Handley preparing Schanda’s kidnapping, these types of as renting the van and purchasing the handcuffs applied by the kidnappers, the DA explained.
According to court docket files obtained by United states of america Now, the couple married in 2006, but the partnership soured and Handley filed for divorce in 2017 immediately after several restraining orders ended up submitted.
Handley alleged that his spouse had tried out to use a hitman to have him killed, whilst she alleged Handley had tried using to track her cellular phone and set up spy ware on her computer, according to the report.
Files confirmed Handley had sent his spouse threatening messages prior to the kidnapping, the outlet claimed.
Handley had earlier attempted to plead not responsible by means of madness in 2018, but was considered mentally skilled for trial.
He now faces up to 35 decades in jail, a prospective punishment he has arrive to terms with, his attorney stated.
“We just truly feel it is a fair outcome. It’s a truthful resolution of the scenario,” Handley’s legal professional, Kevin Stockstill, advised Usa Nowadays, introducing that his customer “was ready to settle for responsibility.”
The responsible plea is a reduction to the victims, who will not have to relive their ordeal at trial, prosecutors mentioned.