DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A Denham Springs man who kidnapped his own mother and threatened to beat her with a picture of Jesus and a statue of the Virgin Mary has been sentenced.
The man's mother told police that she woke up in the middle of the night on August 4th, 2011 to find Kenneth Roberts Jr., 49, standing over her head. She claimed he threatened to beat her with the picture of Jesus and statue of Mary unless she drove him to an ATM and withdraw $80 so he could repay a debt to a drug dealer.
They drove to a nearby ATM where she took out the money. She reported the incident to police the next morning.
Roberts was later arrested while trying to hide in a bedroom closet.
The mother later changed her story, telling authorities that she wasn't kidnapped and went to the ATM willingly.
During the trial, prosecutors played recorded phone conversations between Roberts and his mother in which Roberts tells his mother to help get him out of prison, to avoid court subpoenas and what to tell the prosecutor and the judge.
Roberts was found guilty of simple kidnapping, but the prosecution also added a sentencing enhancement provision to the charge due to the fact this was a crime of violence against a person over the age of 65.
Roberts has been sentenced to eight years in prison.