Man faces life in prison for kidnapping

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

The Natchez Democrat

An arrest has been made in the Monday kidnapping of a 28-year-old

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Natchez woman who was recovered unharmed Monday night, Natchez

Police Chief Willie Huff confirmed Tuesday.

Lionell K. Martin, 29, of 1327 Mayes St. in Jackson, Miss.,

was arrested by authorities Monday night on a charge of kidnapping.

If convicted, he could receive a sentence of 30 years to life

in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

He was being held without bond at the Jefferson County Correctional

Facility Tuesday but was expected to be transferred to the Natchez

City Jail late Tuesday afternoon.

The arrest was made at about 9:30 p.m. Monday by Fayette police

and deputies of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office near a convenience

store near Fayette, Miss., Huff said.

At about 12:45 a.m. Monday, employees of a Natchez nightclub

called police to report that the 28-year-old female had not reported

to work at the club that night.

Huff would not name the victim or the nightclub because the

case is still under investigation by Natchez police and the Federal

Bureau of Investigation.

While police were at the club investigating the matter, a man

called the club &uot;and told her boyfriend that he had (the

woman),&uot;&160;Huff said.

&uot;From then until 9:30 p.m. there was a series of calls

in which (the boyfriend) got a series of instructions on what

to do to insure her safety,&uot;&160;Huff said. He would not

elaborate on the instructions or say whether a ransom was involved.

The FBI, Natchez and Fayette police, Jefferson and Adams County

sheriff’s deputies, and the Mississippi Highway Patrol investigated

the case.

The woman’s boyfriend arrived at 9:30 p.m. at a convenience

store north of Fayette – and Fayette police and Jefferson

County deputies arrived as well.

&uot;When they heard (officers) yell ‘police,’ several subjects

fled&uot; into a nearby wooded area and officers were able to

safely recover the victim from a vehicle at the scene and arrest

Martin, said Huff.

Huff said Martin &uot;was armed with a .45-caliber semiautomatic

pistol and a can of mace, … so I’m just glad we were able to

get her back safe.&uot;

He described Martin as &uot;an active participant&uot;&160;in

the alleged kidnapping but would not elaborate on his alleged


The investigation has not yet determined why the woman was

targeted, Huff said.

&uot;We have several other suspects that we’re investigating

at this time,&uot;&160;he said.

Huff said he did not know as of Tuesday the location where

the woman was kidnapped, although it was noted that she opened

the nightclub at 9:15 a.m. Monday but was not there as of 10 a.m.

that night.

Her vehicle, a Mazda, was found behind a bus barn on Lynda

Lee Drive, Huff said.