Monday, October 8, 2007

Devlin Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Ben Ownby

In court today, Michael Devlin pled guilty to kidnapping Ben Ownby in January 2007. Some details of what happened the day Ben was taken and what led up to the kidnapping were stated in court.

Devlin, 41, (R) arrived at the Franklin County Courthouse under tight security, wearing a bullet proof vest.

"He picked Ben because Ben got off the school bus alone," said Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks. In court, Parks said Devlin told authorities that he had been looking for a boy to kidnap for more than three months before Ben. Parks said Devlin was looking in rural areas along highways 30, 50 and 141. And that he had watched Ben for a couple of days before kidnapping him at gunpoint.

"This is a predator. This is, this is, this guy is evil! This is evil incarnate! You'll never see anybody worse than this because this is a guy that preys on our kids," Parks said., "Devlin told investigators he had been looking at rural schools following bus routes because those schools let out later and that meshed better with his work schedule at Imo's Pizza. Prosecutor Parks said, "as Devlin was pushing 13 year old Ben into his truck, Ben kept asking "why" and Devlin said "just because."

Devlin got a life sentence for pleading guilty to kidnapping. He also pled guilty to armed criminal action and got 20 years. Tomorrow, Devlin will be transported to Potosi - where he is charged with seven counts in the Shawn Hornbeck case- including attempted murder and sodomy. After that, he will go to St. Louis County where he faces 71 counts involving sexual abuse of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. Devlin is expected to plead guilty in both of those courts.

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