Devlin Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Ownby - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Potosi, MO

Devlin Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Ownby

Devlin Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping One Boy
By: Heartland News & AP
Updated 2:31 p.m. 10/8/07

UNION, Mo. - Michael Devlin pleads quilty to kidnapping one of the two boys he's accused of holding captive in his suburban St. Louis apartment.

Devlin pleaded guilty in Franklin County to one charge of child kidnapping and one count of armed-criminal action in the January 8th abduction of 13-year-old William "Ben" Ownby.

Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Stanley Williams sentenced Devlin to life in prison on the kidnapping charge and 20 years on the armed-criminal action charge. The sentences are to run concurrently.

The whole process took about 17 minutes.  Devlin appeared at the Franklin County Courthouse under very heavy security.  He appeared to have been wearing a bullet-proof vest under his orange jumpsuit.  The Franklin County Sheriff would not confirm that Devlin was wearing a vest, but did say he wasn't taking any chances when it came to Devlin's safety.  He also wore bright yellow gloves to prevent him from manipulating his handcuffs. 

During the proceeding, Devlin sat calmly and looked only at the judge.  Ben Ownby's parents were present at the.

It was the first in a series of hearings this week in four jurisdictions where Devlin faces more than 80 counts in the kidnappings and sexual abuse of Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck.

Devlin is expected to plead guilty to all the charges against him.

The 41-year-old Devlin has been jailed since January 12th when police went to his Kirkwood apartment looking for Ownby, who had been kidnapped four days earlier as he got off a school bus.

Rescuers were shocked to find Ownby and Hornbeck, now 16, who had disappeared while riding a bike in Richwoods in 2002.

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