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Archive for Friday, March 9, 2007

Lawyer dismisses plea deal in boys’ abductions

March 9, 2007

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— An attorney for Michael Devlin, the former pizzeria manager charged with abducting two Missouri boys, dismissed a plea deal Thursday that was expected to include several life sentences, saying his client could do better before a jury.

Devlin faces six federal and 75 county-filed counts involving kidnapping, sexual assault and producing child pornography.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Parks said Tuesday that prosecutors from all the jurisdictions are drafting a plea bargain that would include "several, several consecutive life sentences."

But Devlin attorney Ethan Corlija said Thursday that that offer would basically amount to the maximum sentence Devlin would face if he was convicted at trial on every charge.

Parks said he was not willing to offer a sweeter deal. He said his goal is to ensure that Devlin, 41, is never free again.

Devlin is charged with abducting 13-year-old Ben Ownby on Jan. 8 in Franklin County. Authorities found Ben four days later at Devlin's apartment in Kirkwood along with Shawn Hornbeck, 15, who had been missing since 2002.

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