Guilty plea in Verizon employee kidnapping

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ronald Jackson, one of the two men who stuffed a Verizon Wireless employee into the trunk of a car, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Jackson, 29, of Richfield, will be sentenced April 29. His attorney said he would seek probation, but prosecutors will request a 57-month prison sentence, which is within the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.

About 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 11, police were called to a house in Loretto where a woman said she heard her husband’s car pull up. When he didn’t come into the house, she looked out and heard a trunk slam on a red car parked in her neighbor’s driveway. The car immediately took off east on Chippewa Road. About a half-hour later, police found a red Dodge Charger parked north of Minnesota 55 on Pioneer Trail and Jackson and William Graham outside the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

The men eventually put their hands up, but fled when they heard pounding from the trunk of the car. Police quickly captured the men, released the victim from the trunk and recovered a gun in a ditch near the car. The victim told police that when he pulled into his driveway, a car made a fast stop into his neighbor’s. Graham quickly moved toward the victim, pointed a black gun at him and ordered the victim out of the car, according to the complaint.

At his plea hearing Monday, Jackson admitted snatching the victim and tying him up before putting him in the trunk. He also said he and Graham asked the victim where the keys to the store were, only to learn that they were still in the victim’s car. He also admitted that the gun in the ditch was a black BB gun which belonged to Graham. The trial for Graham is scheduled for June 2.