Two of four suspects expected to plea in kidnapping case

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2001

NATCHEZ – Two of four men suspected of kidnapping a local female are scheduled to plead guilty to the lesser charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, Assistant U.S. Attorney Woody Bond said Thursday.

Lionell Kenji Martin, 29, of Jackson and Barry Wallace, 24, of Vicksburg, are scheduled to enter pleas at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 in Jackson, Bond said.

Both suspects also have arraignments next week on the charge, Bond said.

Email newsletter signup

He thinks charging the defendants as felons in possession of weapons was appropriate for their involvement in the crime.

&uot;What I expect the penalty to be probably fits what they did,&uot; Bond said.

Both suspects were prohibited from carrying a firearm because of previous drug charges against them.

Martin had a 1996 conviction for manufacturing marijuana, and Wallace had a 1999 conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The two suspects were arrested shortly after the Sept. 23 kidnapping of resident Shalondra Butler from Queen’s Lounge on Franklin Street.

Butler went to the lounge that evening to open it for business and was latter reported missing. The kidnappers later called her boyfriend, Zack Jackson, on a cellular phone and demanded $20,000 for her return, according to an affidavit signed by Kevin J. Rust, special agent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

She was later released unharmed in the Fayette area the next day after being forced to travel to Baton Rouge, La., Woodville and Port Gibson.

Two other suspects, Louis Buck and Channing Burden, were also arrested for allegedly being the other two men involved in the kidnapping.

Burden is scheduled to have an initial court appearance Monday in Jackson, Bond said.

Buck is currently in state custody in Monroe, La., Bond said.

U.S. District Judge David Bramlette, who has an office in the city, has jurisdiction over the case.a