An Alabama kidnapping involved seven people in a complicated revenge abduction of a 6-year-old child, resulting in the arraignment of six of the seven participants in a Mississippi US District Court on Wednesday. Among the accused is 18-year-old Alabama freshman forward Devonta Pollard, who appears to have been pulled into the botched scheme by the plan's mastermind, his mother Jesse Mae Pollard.
Six of the seven kidnappers were charged with conspiracy to kidnap Jashayla Hopson on April 30 from the Kemper County elementary school in eastern Mississippi. In addition to Devonta Pollard, Wanda Dancy, Shamarius Ruffin, Shaquayla Johnigan, Joyce Johnigan, and James Johnigan, were arraigned at the Jackson, Mississippi federal courthouse.
All six face possible sentences of up to five years.
Jesse Mae Pollard allegedly plotted the kidnapping to pressure the child's mother in a land dispute. She faces a life sentence and will be arraigned separately. She remains in federal custody and is reportedly outside Mississippi in a facility to evaluate her mental health.
Devonta Pollard has now been released on a $10,000 bond. His trial is set for August 6.
The FBI said that they believe that the University of Alabama basketball player knew in advance that his mother was going to kidnap the young girl, reportedly her cousin's daughter. In addition to supplying a screwdriver and a wrench, the federal investigators believe that Devonta Pollard gave a ride to co-conspirator Ruffin, her own baby, and the kidnapped child.
After checking them into a hotel in Bessemer, AL, Devonta Pollard then allegedly brought another member of the kidnapping conspiracy to the same hotel.
As a result of the fumbled kidnapping, a once-promising Alabama basketball player's future is now clouded with doubt.
After some fumbling attempts by his co-defendents to extort up to $50,000 from Jashayla Hopson's mother, the child was eventually released unharmed.
[Devonta Pollard photo by Devonta Pollard via Facebook]