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Press Release

Lake Charles woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for role in kidnapping Texas man after drug deal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Sarah Paxton, 25, of Lake Charles, was sentenced on Monday by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter, to 120 months in prison and three years of supervised release for her role in kidnapping a Texas man after a failed drug deal.

According to the guilty plea, Paxton, Justin Fry, 35, and James Coleman, 34, also of Lake Charles, traveled to Liberty, Texas, on April 8, 2018 to buy methamphetamine from a contact.  In order to complete the sale, the contact rode with the defendants to Houston to meet a second contact who had the methamphetamine.  Instead of selling the drugs, the Houston contact robbed Fry and then sped away.  The defendants believed the Liberty contact had knowledge of the fact that the Houston supplier intended to rob Fry and proceeded to tie him up and beat him, while Paxton videoed it on her cell phone.  In an attempt to get the victim to pay back the $1,300, Fry and Coleman repeatedly threatened to kill him.  After making several phone calls, the victim was unable to get the money. 

The victim became confident that Coleman, Fry and Paxton were going to kill him, so he jumped from the moving car, rolling down an embankment.  Coleman and Fry retrieved the bloodied victim, beat him more, duct taped his mouth, and locked him in the trunk of the vehicle.  The victim was in the trunk for approximately four to five hours as the defendants drove around Houston and then decided to return to Vinton.  When they stopped in Vinton, the victim escaped from the trunk and called law enforcement.  The defendants’ cell phones were searched and conversations about the drug deal were found on Fry’s cell phone; the videos of the beatings were found on Paxton’s cell phone.

Justin Fry was sentenced to 292 months in prison, and James Coleman was sentenced to 242 months in prison on November 27, 2018 for interstate kidnapping.  They were both also sentenced to five years of supervised release.

Homeland Security Investigations and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.

Updated December 20, 2018

Violent Crime