LANCASTER – A 61-year-old man was charged with multiple felony counts Tuesday for allegedly snatching a 4-year-old girl from her front yard during a kidnapping that was foiled by the victim’s 13-year-old brother.
Earl Duane Williams of Los Angeles faces one count each of kidnapping to commit another crime, kidnapping a victim under 14, lewd act upon a child and criminal threats, according to Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami.
The case includes allegations that Williams was previously convicted of crimes including assault on a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon.
Williams pleaded not guilty in an Antelope Valley courtroom Tuesday afternoon, and a preliminary court hearing was scheduled for Jan. 6, Hatami said.
Williams parked his RV near Kildare Street in Lancaster on Dec. 20; then he grabbed the young victim from her front yard and began to leave the home as she screamed for help, the prosecutor said. Her 13-year-old brother then yelled for help and grabbed his sister’s arm, causing the defendant to leave the girl and flee the scene, the prosecutor added.
Hatami said that after the defendant was arrested and being driven away, he threatened the victim’s mother and said he would come back.
If convicted of all charges, Williams faces a sentence of life in state prison.
The prosecutor is requesting that bail be set at more than $2 million.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lancaster Station.
UPDATED 1/6/15: Following a preliminary court hearing Tuesday, Jan. 6, a judge ruled there was enough evidence for Williams to stand trial for kidnapping to commit another crime, kidnapping a victim under 14, lewd act upon a child and criminal threats. Williams is due back in court Jan. 20. He remains jailed on $2.2 million bail.
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