Two men who pleaded guilty to kidnapping random victims downtown and forcing them into the trunks of their own cars were sentenced this morning to long federal prison sentences.
Chief U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier sentenced Christopher Turner and Jeffrey McClendon, Jr., both 21, to different times for the crime.
Turner received the mandatory minimum of 32 years, but Collier found that McClendon had not accepted responsibility for the crime and sentenced the man to 37 years.
On Aug. 26, 2010, the men, along with Twain Jackson, 21, and Richard L. Hunt, Jr., 19, pistol-whipped then forced Mychael Chunn into the trunk of his own car as the man was leaving work from Buffalo Wild Wings on Market Street.
Hunt is scheduled for trial in state court on the charges on June 19. Jackson has a hearing scheduled in state court on June 12.
The men took Chunn’s wallet and cellphone, drove to his apartment and stole items they later attempted to pawn. They kept Chunn in his trunk for 11 hours, at one point giving him water and noodles and later releasing him.
Two days later, the group ambushed Joseph Clark as he was walking to the Hunter Museum of American Art, pistol-whipped him and forced him into the trunk of his car. After about 10 minutes of driving, Clark was able to escape the trunk. The men drove to his apartment and kicked in a neighbor’s door, assaulting the sleeping residents and stealing items.
For more details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...