Man Who Kidnapped Fort Worth 8-Year-Old Indicted
A federal grand jury has indicted the man caught on camera last month abducting an 8-year-old girl in Fort Worth, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
The grand jury charged Michael Webb, 51, with kidnapping.
Despite filing papers signaling his intent to plead to an Information – a charging document that does not require signoff from a grand jury – Webb elected not to enter a plea at Wednesday morning’s scheduled hearing.
Prosecutors decided to present the case to a grand jury, forgoing any further delay in charging. The grand jury true billed an Indictment Wednesday afternoon.
“We are determined to hold the Defendant accountable for his alleged crime. If he wants a trial – which is his right – we are prepared to prove the facts before a jury,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox, who is on the trial team. “We’ll do whatever it takes to bring this man to justice.”
“FBI Dallas will exhaust the necessary resources to recover all abducted and missing children,“ said Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Field Office, which worked with the Fort Worth Police Department to investigate the kidnapping and rescue the little girl. “In this case, we were able to actively work with our partners at the Fort Worth Police Department, Department of Public Safety, and Arlington Police Department to safely recover the victim and arrest her alleged abductor.”
Webb, who has been in federal custody since his arrest on May 19, will be arraigned before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor on Monday, June 24 at 9 a.m. At that time, he will be required to enter a plea: guilty or not guilty.
An Indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence; like all other defendants, Webb is presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.
If proven guilty, he faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in federal prison and up to life behind bars.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s North Texas Child Exploitation Task Force, the Fort Worth Police Department’s Major Case Unit Taskforce, which includes representatives of local law enforcement around the region, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox, Fort Worth Branch Chief Alex Lewis, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem, the District’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, are prosecuting the case.