Vernon arraigned in federal court on kidnapping, carjacking, firearms charges

Vernon

A Kellyton man was arraigned in federal court March 26 on charges of kidnapping, carjacking and firearm possession, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. 

Shane Anthony Vernon, 28, of Kellyton was arraigned on eight felony charges, including one count of kidnapping, two counts of carjacking, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to a release by the U.S. Attorney’s office. The crimes are alleged to have been committed in Elmore County in November 2017.      

Vernon escaped from the Coosa County Jail in November 2017 and went on to commit robberies, burglaries and kidnapping in Coosa and Elmore counties, authorities said. Vernon was apprehended in DeKalb County, Georgia, three days later where authorities there charged him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana less than an ounce, possessing an open container and giving a false name.

Then-Coosa County Sheriff Terry Wilson said it appeared an electrical malfunction at the Coosa County Jail allowed Vernon to escape. Vernon had escaped authorities the month before and was recaptured the next day.

When Vernon was recaptured, Elmore County District Court Judge Glenn Goggans set a $6 million cash bond officials said was the largest bond they could recall in Elmore County.

Here is a timeline of events from events in 2017, according to authorities:

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

2:30 p.m.: Vernon escaped from the Coosa County Jail for the second time in three weeks through a door that had not been secured.

4:30 p.m.: Vernon invaded a home on Highway 231, terrorizing and tying up residents. He stole clothes, guns and a 2016 Ford Fusion from that residence.

8:30 p.m.: The Ford Fusion was found abandoned near Living Waters Baptist Church on Elmore County Road 80 near the Coosa-Elmore county line.

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017

10:30 a.m.: Vernon, armed with a handgun, invaded a home on Grass Farm Road near Titus, tied up a woman and her husband and locked the woman and a child in a closet. At the home he stole a 2005 silver Chrysler Pacifica with a firefighter tag. He also took cash, clothing and possibly another weapon.

5:30 p.m.: Vernon kidnapped William Richard McCord, 67, from his house on Bradley Road and also took the victim’s vehicle, a black Grand Prix GT-2. Officials searched the area all night looking for signs of the vehicle, the victim and Vernon.

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017

6:55 a.m.: Vernon dropped McCord off unharmed in Douglasville, Georgia. McCord made it to a police station to get help. The victim’s Grand Prix was found abandoned and there was no sign of Vernon.

Multiple agencies including the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office, Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the State K-9 Tracking Team, the ALEA Aviation Unit and the United States Marshal’s Office were involved in the search. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglasville Police Department, Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation were also involved in the search. Wilson said U.S. Marshals coordinated what he called a nationwide search.

If convicted of all federal charges, Vernon faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum life sentence. There is no parole in the federal system. Vernon’s trial is set for Aug. 12.

Franklin cited the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance with the case.