Williamsport man accepts Alford plea on kidnapping charge

December 17, 2012|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Jeremy S. Keadle
Submitted photo

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A Williamsport man charged with kidnapping his former girlfriend from The Improved Order of Red Men Club in Williamsport last April entered an Alford plea to the charge Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Jeremy S. Keadle, 30, formerly of 247 E. Potomac St. in Williamsport, had asked for a jury trial when he appeared in court Monday morning, but after a jury was selected, he returned from a brief recess to say he wanted to enter a plea.

Keadle repeatedly answered, “Yes, sir,” as Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. asked a number of questions to confirm whether Keadle was comfortable entering the plea.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant doesn’t to admit guilt, but acknowledges the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Long agreed to accept the Alford plea on the kidnapping charge and scheduled a presentencing investigation, which is expected to take about two months to complete.

Charges against Keadle of carjacking, robbery, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, theft of less than $1,000, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment, stalking and a number of traffic violations were dropped in exchange for the plea.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in the statement of charges that the victim was an employee of the Red Men club at 16129 Lappans Road when the incident occurred the night of April 1.

Deputies said Keadle dated the woman for about two years until they broke up toward the end of 2011. The woman told deputies that Keadle called her on numerous occasions to try to meet with her.

The sheriff’s office reported in the charging documents that the victim said she and another employee had just closed the club when Keadle jumped from the bushes and forced her inside her van.

While Keadle was driving away, the woman kicked the keys, gear shift and steering wheel in an effort to stop the vehicle.

A deputy in the area found Keadle assaulting a woman outside a van that was parked on the Interstate 81 southbound ramp near Williamsport, the documents said.

When the deputy got out of his vehicle, Keadle entered the van through an open passenger door, closing it behind him, according to the documents. The deputy used his baton to break a window of the van as Keadle put the vehicle in drive.

The deputy then pointed his handgun at Keadle and ordered him to put his hands on the steering wheel.

Police said Keadle removed his hands from the steering wheel, causing a deputy to shoot him with a Taser gun. Keadle was taken into custody when he fell sideways on the passenger seat.

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