Man sentenced for kidnapping victim who allegedly owed offender $20

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Contributed by the
Lee County District Attorney’s office

The man whose viral social-media video depicting an assaulted individual tied to a chair with a fire burning underneath has been sentenced. Last month, Kendrick O. Hill of Auburn was sentenced to 45 years in prison after being found guilty by a Lee County jury of kidnapping in the first degree.

Assistant District Attorney Garrett Saucer led the prosecution of the case, along with Assistant District Attorney Cathey Berardi. Opelika Detective Tucker Stokes was the lead case agent for the investigation.

Testimony and evidence presented at trial showed that Hill pulled the victim off the street, forced him in a car and drove him to a location in Opelika. Video taken by Hill showed the victim bound and gagged and strapped to a chair with fire lit underneath. Testimony revealed that the victim owed Hill $20, and this was the consequence of the unpaid debt.

A witness who saw the video flagged down Opelika Police Officers Fears and Greer, who were patrolling in the area of Carver Avenue, and showed them the video. The Opelika officers’ familiarity with the city enabled them to identify landmarks in the video, which led them to the scene. When officers arrived, Hill ran on foot and the victim was recovered. The victim received treatment at East Alabama Medical Center.

The Opelika Police Department, with help from the US Marshal Fugitive Task Force, apprehended Hill the following day.

“I commend the Opelika Police Department, Detective Stokes, Officers Fears and Greer and Assistant District Attorneys Garrett Saucer and Cathey Berardi for their hard work in this case,” said Jessica Ventiere, District Attorney Pro Tem. “I also appreciate the jury’s verdict, which ensured a violent offender was held accountable for his disregard for human life.”

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