Guilty plea expected in kidnapping

August 19, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg woman was expected to plead guilty today in connection with an incident in which another woman was robbed and thrown into the trunk of her car.

Amber Maize Crummitt, 21, is scheduled to plead guilty today to one count of aggravated robbery, one count of grand larceny and one count of conspiracy to commit grand larceny, according to Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely.

The plea was announced Monday afternoon during a pretrial hearing before Circuit Judge David Sanders. Both the investigating officer, West Virginia State Police Trooper M.M. Kingery, and the victim, Misty Dawn Hyson, 25, said they agreed the plea was appropriate.


Crummitt and two others were charged in connection with the beating and kidnapping, which happened on July 9, 2002.

As part of the plea bargain, Crummitt agreed to testify against a co-defendant, Brandon D. Green, 21, Games-Neely said. Crummitt and Green were dating at the time of the incident. The case against a third co-defendant, who was a juvenile at the time, has been resolved.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Crummitt will serve 15 years in prison on the robbery charge. Although she also will be sentenced to serve one to five years on the conspiracy charge and one to 10 years on the grand larceny charge, those sentences will be served at the same time as the sentence for the robbery charge, Games-Neely said. Probation will not be an option, she said.

Crummitt and be responsible for paying a portion of Hyson's medical bills, which Games-Neely said are substantial because Hyson had no insurance at the time of the incident.

Hyson suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized more than once, Games-Neely said.

Green was the main aggressor during the incident, Games-Neely alleged.

Police alleged that Crummitt stood by and ignored Hyson's pleas for help when two males beat Hyson with their fists and a steel car ramp.

One of the assailants placed a plastic bag over Hyson's head and one held a knife to her throat, according to police. Semi-conscious and afraid she was going to be killed, Hyson was placed in the trunk of her own car, a 2000 Honda Accord, police said.

Hyson managed to escape along Interstate 70 near Clear Spring.

The beating happened behind Green's home after Hyson asked Crummitt to accompany her on a car shopping trip. Hyson told Crummitt beforehand that she was going to bring $1,000 with her for a down payment, according to police.

Robbery was the motive for the beating and kidnapping, police have alleged.

After Hyson escaped from the trunk, police alleged that Crummitt, Green and the juvenile headed to Pennsylvania in Hyson's car and then to Florida, where they were caught.

Hyson told police that while she was in the trunk she could overhear her assailants say they were going to kill her and dump her body, police allege.

Along Interstate 70, Hyson popped the trunk release latch and held the lid down, waiting for a chance to jump out. When the driver, believed to be Green, trying to turn around in the median, Hyson escaped and ran. Several passing motorists who saw Hyson escape spoke to police, according to police reports.

Green's trial is scheduled for October.

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