Geary County Man Pleads Guilty In Kidnapping, Death of Junction City Woman
TOPEKA, KAN. – A Geary County man pleaded guilty today to taking part in the kidnapping of a Junction City woman who was killed during the abduction, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.
Drexel A. Woody, 26, who lived on Fort Riley at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping resulting in death. The body of Amanda Clemons, 24, of Junction City, was found in February 2014 in Geary County, Kan.
In Woody’s plea, he admitted that on Feb. 7, 2014, he and his co-defendants met the victim, who was a prostitute, at a hotel in Junction City and kidnapped her. The defendants beat the victim in retribution for comments she had made on social media. During the beating, the defendants demanded the victim pay $300. They took the victim to another hotel room in an unsuccessful attempt to get the money, after which they transported her to Woody’s residence on Fort Riley.
While at Woody’s residence, the defendants allowed the victim to call her young son and her mother. The victim’s mother realized the victim was in danger and called Junction City Police. When police called the victim’s number to check on her, and the defendants listened to the call on speaker phone. Fearing arrest, the defendants transported the victim to a bridge in a remote part of Geary County, where they resumed the beating and attacked her with a knife. The victim broke free and jumped off the bridge, falling 15 feet and breaking her ankle. The defendants found the victim in the snow and resumed the assault during which they cut her throat and killed her.
Woody is set for sentencing Jan. 30. He faces a penalty of up to life in federal prison.
Co-defendants who are awaiting trial include:
Larry L. Anderson, 27, Manhattan, Kan.
Marryssa M. Middleton, 25, Fort Riley, Kan.
Shantrell D. Woody, 27, Fort Riley, Kan., formerly an active duty service member.
Christopher Pugh, 32, Junction City, Kan.
Beall commended the Junction City Police Department, the Grandview Plaza Police Department, the Geary County Sheriff’s Office, the Riley County Police Department, the Fort Riley Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag and Geary County Attorney Steven Opat for their work on the case.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.