A Federal kidnapping case began Tuesday against Michael Webb who has already been convicted on state charges of abducting an 8-year-old girl in front of her mother in a Fort Worth neighborhood in May
A jury quickly reached a verdict in the federal kidnapping case that just began hours earlier against the man accused of abducting an 8-year-old girl in front of her mother in a Fort Worth neighborhood in May.
In Tarrant County, the federal kidnapping trial of Michael Webb began Tuesday, Sept. 24. Webb is accused of kidnapping an 8-year-old girl in front of her mother from a Fort Worth neighborhood on May 18.
By late Wednesday afternoon, Michael Webb was found guilty of kidnapping in the May 18 abduction and assault.
The jury reached their decision in less than 15 minutes.
The trial began with Webb telling the judge that he wanted new defense attorneys, saying he had “differences” with them. The judge disagreed, saying he saw nothing wrong with how the attorneys have represented him to this point.
When asked by the judge whether he wanted to wear his orange jail jumpsuit or plain clothes for the trial, Webb responded by saying, “actually, I don’t want to be here.”
Both his attorneys and the judge responded by explaining how being present for the trial would be beneficial for him. Ultimately, Webb opted to waive his right to be in the courtroom and was instead be kept in a holding cell in another part of the building.
The lead prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Erin Neely Cox, told the jury Tuesday was “a day of reckoning” for Michael Webb. A man, the government contends, planned an attack on a little girl he did not know and a man who had a “destructive power” over her for approximately eight hours.
Cox told jurors the prosecution would prove that Webb abducted the 8-year-old, sexually assaulted her, including in a church parking lot, threatened and terrorized her into compliance and hid her from police.
Cox also told the jury Webb later admitted to the crime.
Testifying, for the first time, the victim’s mother recounted the moments before and after her daughter was abducted by the suspect. She testified that she and her daughter took a walk around the block barefoot that rain-soaked evening.
A strange car drove by and someone said something along the lines of, “Hey, come holler at me. She did not talk to the person, she said.
The same car, she said, later returned. – The second time, she said the man got out of the car and approached the two. At which point she immediately became concerned about a kidnapping and tried to put herself in the middle of the man and her daughter.
The stranger asked her if she liked money to which she responded ‘yes’, adding that she didn’t need any,’ the victim’s mother testified.
That’s when she said Webb snatched the girl from her. The two fought inside his car, but he pushed her out.
The woman became emotional at times while on the stand.
She heard her 911 call to police before her testimony ended.
Webb’s defense attorneys did not have questions for the girl’s mother, instead spent less than 30 seconds on his opening statement, only telling the jury his client is not guilty and that the burden of proof is on the government and it has not been met.
Webb had plead not guilty. He was facing up to life in prison if convicted.
Webb also faces state charges of aggravated kidnapping, six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child [enhanced] and two counts of indecency with a child.
Meanwhile the Forest Hill police officer who, in May, searched the hotel room containing a kidnapped 8-year-old kidnap victim, but failed to locate her, has been fired, the city’s police chief says.
On the day of the incident Forest Hill police visited Webb at his room earlier in the evening after a witness called police and said they saw him enter the hotel with a child. During their initial visit, police never spotted the child and left the room hours before she was eventually rescued by Fort Worth police.