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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pembroke, Georgia Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Role In Two Kidnapping

STATESBORO, GA – Gary Lenion McDonald, 36, of Pembroke, Georgia, was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday by Senior U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield for his role in two separate kidnappings in the Bryan County area.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, “The kidnappings committed by this defendant and others caused extreme pain and harm to victims they targeted.  Because of timely action by the FBI and its partners in the law enforcement community, the United States Attorney’s Office was able to prosecute those responsible. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to have as its highest priority the protection of U.S. citizens.”

McDonald pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnappings, and cooperated in the investigation and prosecution of codefendants Antonio Lamont Murray and Cecil DeWitt Nelson, both of whom were convicted for their roles in the two kidnappings and sentenced to life in prison.  Judge Edenfield took McDonald’s cooperation into account when fashioning his sentence.

The evidence presented during McDonald’s guilty plea hearing, and the trial of codefendant Antonio Lamont Murray, revealed that McDonald, Murray and Nelson conspired to commit two separate kidnappings in the Bryan County area in late 2011 and early 2012. The first kidnapping occurred on December 1, 2011. During this incident, the victim was abducted at gunpoint, beaten, and later released only after a ransom was paid. The second kidnapping occurred on January 12, 2012. The second victim was also abducted at gunpoint and released only after a ransom was paid.

In addition to being sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his conviction, McDonald was also sentenced to serve a term of 5 years of supervised release, and to pay restitution to the victims of these kidnappings in the amount of approximately $500,000.  Tarver noted that there is no parole in the federal system.

The convictions of McDonald, Murray and Nelson resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, NCIS, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol, the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, the Richmond Hill Police Department, the Pooler Police Department, the Pembroke Police Department and the Hinesville Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Brian T. Rafferty and Carlton R. Bourne, Jr. prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.  For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Updated April 13, 2015