Three US citizens who went into hiding in Scotland for several years after trying to kidnap five Mennonite children and massacre their parents are about to be extradited back home to face charges, federal prosecutors said. speak.
A Scottish court has rejected an appeal by three people to avoid extradition in connection with a 2018 violent kidnapping plot that US prosecutors compared to a “bad horror movie”.
“If proven, this is a premeditated plot to kidnap five children and murder four of their parents,” Scotland’s most senior judge, Attorney General Lord Carloway, said in a statement. judgment, according to Scottish Sun.
“The crimes that the appellants have been accused of are extraordinary,” he said, adding that the life sentences the group will face in the United States are “disproportionate” to the charges charged. tie.
US prosecutors say that three suspects–Valerie Hayes, Gary Reburn and Jennifer Lynn Amnott–fled to the UK in August 2018 after their kidnapping plot went awry.
They had just entered the home of a Mennonite family in Dayton, Virginia, and were preparing to arrest their two young children when the mother called 911, brought a sheriff to the home and disrupted the entire operation, according to a press release. press release Monday from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of West Virginia.
A fourth suspect, Frank Jesse Amnott, was arrested at the scene and never escaped, instead pleading guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy charges in December 2019.
“Although the circumstances of this case resemble the scenario of a bad horror movie, the defendants’ murder plot is real and it poses a serious risk to its intended victims. them,” US Attorney Thomas Cullen speak at that time.
The bonkers scheme is said to have been launched by Hayes, 41, who “has always claimed to Amnotts and others, that she works for the US government and that her work includes services to intelligence community or other clandestine organizations,” the Justice Department said.
Hayes, who used to live with her boyfriend, Reburn, in Maryland, is said to have befriended Amnotts by responding to a blog post Jennifer Amnott wrote about the pain of several miscarriages, Daily News-Record reported.
In July 2018, prosecutors said she “told Amnotts that her three children had been kidnapped and were being held by two separate Mennonite families in Dayton.” If Amnotts helped her “rehabilitate” the children, along with two other children, she was accused that “Amnotts could keep one of the other children as her own.”
In fact, Hayes had no relationship with any of the children targeted, prosecutors said. It was not immediately clear how or why she had her eye on the children in the Mennonite community, all of whom were under the age of 8.
The group began operations on July 29, 2018, with Jennifer Amnott staying in Maryland to babysit Hayes’ children while the other three prepared to attack two unsuspecting Mennonite families in the dead of night. In addition to having intercourse with the children, “the masterminds planned to kill the children’s parents” to “remove witnesses to the kidnapping,” prosecutors said.
They only managed to tie up the father in the first house and hold him with a gun in the basement before the police arrived. A deputy from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office found the children safe in their bedroom, and Frank Amnott was holding the father hostage in the basement. He was arrested without incident.
“Because the kidnapping and murder plan at the first house was thwarted, the masterminds were not able to proceed to the second house as planned. Instead, Hayes and Reburn returned to Maryland, where they reunited with Jennifer Amnott, and later escaped to Scotland,” the Justice Department said.
They all face life behind bars if convicted of conspiracy to kidnap a child involving a child, conspiracy to kill a witness with the intent of preventing contact with law enforcement, arrest kidnap, attempted kidnapping, attempted murder of a witness and various other gun charges.
Hayes, who was arrested in Scotland with two others in November 2018, is quoted by Scottish sun at the time said she was on a mission for the “security service” in Northern Ireland when a plot to kidnap the scammer was going on in Virginia.