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Press Release

Oklahoman convicted of kidnapping estranged wife by gunpoint

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 31-year-old resident of Yukon, Oklahoma, has been found guilty of kidnapping and brandishing a firearm during the crime, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

The federal jury sitting in Corpus Christi deliberated for approximately three hours before convicting Joshua Anthony Wallin on both counts following a four-day trial.

“Joshua Wallin’s maniacal decision to kidnap and torture his estranged wife and one-year-old son and later point a gun at the baby’s head caused two days of terror from places in Oklahoma to Texas,” said Hamdani. “Thanks to the heroic efforts of first responders, the child and mother were able to survive their frightening nightmare, and now Wallin will pay the price for his actions.”

In the early morning hours of June 23, 2021, Wallin confronted his estranged wife at her home in Crescent, Oklahoma, holding her at gunpoint and subjecting her to a two-day ordeal. The jury heard how he took her and their one-year-old son on an arduous journey that culminated at a Corpus Christi restaurant.

The victim provided testimony describing her fear and how she was sexually assaulted before they left Oklahoma and again along the way. She also told the jury that at one point during the trip, Wallin said “at the end of the day someone is going to die.”  

As they traveled though Texas, Wallin was aware of law enforcement, called 911 and began a series of conversations with them. He repeatedly made threatening statements about killing his wife and child, telling authorities they should not get too close. His driving became erratic, and law enforcement was able to use a tire deflation device to flatten a rear tire. He eventually crashed into a local restaurant.

They eventually arrived in Corpus Christi, at which time Wallin grabbed his son from the mother’s arms and carried him into the restaurant while pointing a gun at his son’s head. Upon entry, Wallin fired one shot into the ceiling and ordered the occupants out of the restaurant.

A two-hour stand-off then ensued. Wallin did speak with negotiators, but became increasingly agitated. As authorities gained entry, Wallin shot himself. The child was unharmed. Wallin recovered from his self-inflicted wound.

At trial, testimony revealed Wallin had performed internet searches on his phone the day before the kidnapping in an attempt to locate his estranged wife and to learn how people react when kidnapped.

The defense attempted to convince the jury that Wallin and the victim were on a vacation when things went horribly wrong. The jury did not believe those claims and found Wallin guilty as charged.

U.S. District Judge David S. Morales presided over the trial and set sentencing for Sept. 20. At that time, Wallin faces up to life in prison for the kidnapping as well as another seven years for brandishing the firearm which must be served consecutively.

Wallin has been and will remain in federal custody pending that hearing.

The Corpus Christi Police Department and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Hess and Ashley Martin prosecuted the case.

Updated June 29, 2023

Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses