Court rules 3 charged in kidnapping plot can return to US

Jan 31, 2022, 2:41 PM | Updated: 4:26 pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A court in Scotland has denied an appeal by three people charged in a failed kidnapping-murder plot in Virginia, paving the way for them to be extradited back to the United States to stand trial, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Prosecutors said Valerie Hayes, Gary Reburn, and Jennifer Amnott fled to the United Kingdom after the attempted 2018 kidnapping of five children in a Mennonite community in Dayton, Virginia. U.S. Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh said in a news release that the three have repeatedly sought to block their extradition back to the U.S., where they face a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

Kavanaugh said the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland denied their appeal Friday and determined there is no bar to their extradition.

“I am grateful to see the extradition process proceeding,” Kavanaugh said. “This community was shocked when these events occurred and the underlying plot was uncovered.”

Hayes, Reburn, and Amnott are charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping involving children, conspiracy to kill witnesses with the intent to prevent communication with law enforcement, kidnapping, attempting kidnapping, attempted killing of a witness, and firearms offenses.

Jennifer Amnott’s husband, Frank Jesse Amnott, pleaded guilty in December 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, one count of conspiracy to kill witnesses and one count of using a firearm in commission of a federal crime of violence.

In court documents, prosecutors say the Amnotts were living in Florida in July 2018 when Hayes contacted them and said three of her children had been kidnapped and were in the custody of two separate Mennonite families in Dayton, Virginia. Prosecutors have said none of the children they planned to kidnap were related to any of the defendants.

Prosecutors alleged that Hayes — who was then living with Reburn in Maryland — knew the Amnotts could not have their own children and promised that if they helped her kidnap the total of five children, they could keep one of the other children as their own. Prosecutors said that in order to carry out the kidnappings, the four planned to kill the parents of the children.

According to prosecutors, Hayes, Reburn and Frank Amnott tried to carry out the plan July 29, 2018. They said Hayes approached the door of the first house, disguised in clothing to appear as a Mennonite. When the father opened the door, they allegedly forced their way inside and held him at gunpoint.

The mother ran outside and called 911. A deputy with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office responded and thwarted the plot. Prosecutors said the deputy found Frank Amnott in the basement holding one of the parents at gunpoint.

Prosecutors said Hayes, Reburn and Jennifer Amnott fled to Scotland in August 2018. They were apprehended and have been fighting extradition to the U.S.

Attorneys for Hayes, Reburn and Jennifer Amnott could not immediately be reached for comment. Kavanaugh said further appeals of the extradition are possible.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

3 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

3 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

8 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

11 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

11 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

Court rules 3 charged in kidnapping plot can return to US