Whitley County Man Sentenced to 516 Months for Violent Kidnapping
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
LONDON, Ky. — A Corbin, Kentucky, man, Douglas M. Edmonson, 38, was sentenced to 43 years in federal prison on Friday, by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier, for kidnapping.
According to evidence presented at the sentencing hearing, Edmonson and his three co-defendants lured a victim to a location in Tennessee, using an unrelated party’s Facebook account. Edmonson and his co-defendants then forced the victim into a vehicle and transported her to Corbin. Edmonson used a .38 revolver and a homemade pipe bomb to coax the victim’s compliance. The victim was bound, blindfolded, and repeatedly assaulted during the 2-day kidnapping. In describing the offense conduct, the Court stated, “[i]f hell is a place, it is almost on the edge of hell. Seeing how people can behave toward each other and treat each other. It is degrading. It is exploitive. It is sub-human to treat a person this way and to put a person in such fear for her life and to strip her, literally and figuratively, of human dignity so astonishingly.”
The Court also found that Edmonson occupied a leadership role, employed a dangerous weapon, and demanded a ransom. The Court further ruled that Edmonson sexually exploited and inflicted serious bodily injury upon the victim. The yearlong investigation revealed that Edmonson and his co-defendants employed firearms, as well as destructive devices during the kidnapping. On August 11, 2018, ATF agents were called to the kidnapping scene and assisted in locating and detonating several homemade destructive devices. The evidence revealed that the kidnapping was fueled by a perceived methamphetamine debt and underlying drug trafficking on the part of Edmonson.
In handing down the sentence, the Court commented that, “in the meth world there's almost a parallel culture where people in that world believe that they're their own police, they're their own law enforcement, they're their own collection agents. That they are operating outside of the boundaries that the rest of us take for granted. And I think that most of America would be kind of shocked what I hear in this courtroom month after month.”
Edmonson pleaded guilty in September 2021.
Edmonson’s co-defendant, Bryanna Soper, 27, of Corbin, Ky., was sentenced to 396 months and five years of supervised release. Dallas Chain Perkins, 23, of Jellico, Tenn., and Erik Peace, 34, of Corbin, Ky., are scheduled to be sentenced in February 2022.
“The victim in the case was lured, restrained, held for drugs or ransom, threatened with firearms and homemade explosives, brutally beaten, burned, and repeatedly assaulted,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “As the Court commented, this uninhibited violence caused unspeakable suffering; so now, the defendant will face the significant consequences of his despicable and brutal conduct. His appalling crimes more than justify the sentence imposed and serve to strengthen our commitment to combatting the drug trafficking violence in our communities.”
“These defendants were part of an armed drug-trafficking group that committed heinous acts of violence,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Field Division. “I commend the efforts of the ATF agents and our Kentucky State Police and Williamsburg Police partners who worked diligently on this year-long investigation to help bring justice to this victim who has had to endure the unimaginable. We hope that this sentencing brings some form of healing to the victim and sends the message that ATF and our law enforcement partners will not stand by and allow these acts of violence."
Under federal law, Edmonson and Soper must serve 85 percent of their prison sentence. Upon their release from prison, Edmonson will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 5 years.
United States Attorney Shier; Special Agent in Charge Morrow; Colonel Phillip Burnett, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police; and Chief Wayne Bird, Williamsburg Police Department, jointly announced the sentences.
The investigation was conducted by the ATF and KSP, with assistance provided by the Williamsburg Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna E. Reed.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. The PSN program involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Shier coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon
CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon
PHONE: (859) 685-4887
Updated January 28, 2022
Project Safe Neighborhoods