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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

West Virginia Woman Sentenced To Seven Years In Federal Prison For Obstructing A Federal Kidnapping/Death Investigation

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Belenda Sandy (57, Buckhannon, West Virginia) to seven years and three months in federal prison for obstruction of justice. She pleaded guilty on May 26, 2017.

 

According to court documents, Sandy obstructed justice and hindered a federal kidnapping/death investigation by making false statements and omitting material information during interviews with investigators. The investigation began on November 27, 2016, after a victim went missing in Ormond Beach, Florida. Investigators eventually determined that the victim had recently relocated to Florida from Indiana to get away from her estranged husband, Jarvis Wayne Madison, who was also in an intimate relationship with Sandy. In the days leading up to the victim’s disappearance, Madison stayed with Sandy at her West Virginia residence, where she provided him with food, money, and new tires for his vehicle. Eventually, Madison left Sandy’s residence and drove to Florida, where he located the victim as she was jogging on Ormond Beach. Phone records reflected that Madison had a 23-minute phone conversation with Sandy, just before the victim disappeared.

 

On November 28, 2016, an investigator contacted Sandy by telephone and interviewed her to determine Madison’s whereabouts. During this interview, Sandy denied having any recent contact with Madison. This statement was false. Even after the investigator informed Sandy that the victim had likely been abducted by Madison, she continued to claim that she had not seen Madison in a long time. Following the interview, Sandy met with Madison at a 7-11 gas station near her home and told him that law enforcement was looking for him in connection with the victim’s disappearance. Sandy’s false responses to the investigator’s inquiries ultimately delayed Madison’s arrest on federal kidnapping charges, and delayed the recovery of the victim’s body.

 

After learning from Sandy that law enforcement was looking for him, Madison drove to Tennessee, where he buried the victim’s dead body. He then drove to Kentucky, where law enforcement arrested him on December 2, 2016. On the same date, FBI agents recovered the victim’s body in Tennessee and determined that Madison had shot and killed her sometime after her disappearance on November 27, 2016.

 

Madison is currently charged in a superseding indictment with kidnapping that resulted in a death, interstate domestic violence, and interstate stalking. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty. A trial date for Madison is currently set for the March 2018 trial term.

 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Indiana State Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.

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Updated August 29, 2017