Two Hollywood actors were kidnapped and held for ransom by a violent meth-fuelled gang for almost three days, it has been revealed.
Daisy McCrackin of 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection fame and fellow performer Joseph Capone were lucky to have survived the ordeal, the details of which were made public for the first time today.
Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones and Amber Neal were arrested in Los Angeles this week in a series of dramatic operations by heavily armed police.
Neal’s arrest on Monday by Los Angeles police was captured on bystander video and had been viewed more than 2.4 million times on Twitter.
They were collectively charged with 17 criminal charges including kidnapping, assault with a firearm, grand theft, mayhem, conspiracy and possession for sale of methamphetamine, according to a grand jury indictment that was unsealed earlier today in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
According to California’s penal code, mayhem is when a person “unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip”.
Jones and Stewart face additional weapons-related charges while police allege that Stewart inflicted great bodily injury on the Mr Capone.
Court documents allege Stewart, Jones, and Neal gained entry into Ms McCrackin’s South Los Angeles home on May 3.
Stewart allegedly pistol-whipped Mr Capone before his co-accused placed black hoods over the victims’ heads and drove them to Jones’ home in Compton.
Once there, the defendants allegedly stripped Mr Capone naked and held him without food in a bathtub for 30 hours, the indictment says.
Meanwhile, Jones and Neal are accused of taking Ms McCrackin’s vehicle, a 2011 red Lexus, and driving her to multiple bank locations while demanding she provide at least $US10,000 to them for Mr Capone’s release.
Ms McCrackin was allegedly forced to write a cheque to Neal, who deposited the money into her account, according to court documents.
Later on May 4, the defendants took the actress back to her home, where she was able to escape and alert police.
Stewart and Jones face a maximum possible sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged. Neal faces up to life in prison.
Bail for Jones and Neal was set at $US1 million, and Stewart’s bail was $US2.08 million.
The trio are expected to face court on July 23 for a pre-trial hearing.