2 Men Hired To Kidnap Business Executive’s Wife Drown While Trying To Escape Police

2 Men Hired To Kidnap Business Executive’s Wife Drown While Trying To Escape Police Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office

A Louisiana man pleaded guilty this week to three serious criminal charges after his plan to have his estranged wife kidnapped went seriously wrong. Lawrence Handley, 53, hired two men to grab his wife and deliver her to him, though it’s unclear what his ultimate plan was. However, the one thing he certainly didn’t plan on is two men ending up dead via drowning.

  1. The men showed up as agreed at Schanda Handley’s home. She was there with her 14-year-old daughter and a neighbor when the kidnappers turned up in blue uniforms from an appliance store. Asking to demonstrate a carpet steamer, they then forced their way into her house at gunpoint, covered her head with a hood, and handcuffed her and the neighbor, the New York Times reports.
  2. They didn’t get too far. After pushing Schanda into a van and driving off, leaving her daughter and neighbor behind, they began driving east on Interstate 10. The plan was to take her to Lawrence’s camp near Woodville, Mississippi and leave her there with her estranged husband. However, as the kidnappers drove, police noticed the van swerving all over the road and attempted to stop it.
  3. The kidnappers tried to lose the police. Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes drove off the interstate and began driving down a gravel road. However, because it was a dead-end, they were trapped by officers and decided to try and get away by swimming through a canal. They never made it out – instead, they drowned.
  4. Now, Lawrence is facing justice. While he hasn’t been charged in connection with the men’s unfortunate death, Mr. Handley did plead guilty to two counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of attempted second-degree kidnapping, according to prosecutors. He could spend anywhere from 15 to 35 years in prison, though a sentencing date has yet to be set.
  5. His wife thinks it’s “really unfortunate” that her ex-husband won’t go to prison for life. By pleading guilty to the three charges against him, Lawrence avoided an aggravated kidnapping charge, which would have automatically meant life in prison. However, Schanda is hoping the judge won’t be lenient when it comes to sentencing. “My hope is when he’s sentenced, he’s given the 35 years. I think my life, my freedom, ends when he gets out,” she said.
  6. Lawrence’s lawyer insists the kidnapping was simply an ill-conceived mistake. Attorney Kevin Stockhill claimed that Lawrence had been using cocaine and meth for days when he came up with the idea to have his now-ex-wife kidnapped and wanted to “come in as a hero” to rescue her and “win her back.” He added: “It was certainly not logical thinking, but when you’re doing a lot of meth and cocaine, I guess it seemed rational to him. It turned out to be a terrible decision.” You don’t say!
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