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Entertainment Child kidnap and murder plot suspects to be sent home to US from Scotland after three years

08:05  06 october  2021
08:05  06 october  2021 Source:   dailyrecord.co.uk

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Three child kidnap and murder plot suspects arrested in Scotland are finally being sent home to the US to face justice.

Valerie Perfect Hayes, Gary ‘Blake’ Reburn and Jennifer Amnott have been held in Scottish prisons since they were found living in Glasgow in 2018.

The gang were wanted in the States for their alleged parts in a bizarre botched attempt to snatch five kids in Virginia and kill their parents.

Now they are days away from being sent home to face charges after extradition orders were finally granted in the case, described by prosecutors as “like a script from a bad horror movie”.

Florida man Frank Jesse Amnott, Jennifer’s husband, is already facing a life sentence in the States after pleading guilty to his involvement.

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Frank Amnott has pleaded guilty to his part in the plot in the US © Daily Record Frank Amnott has pleaded guilty to his part in the plot in the US

Legal papers claim Hayes masterminded the plan by duping the Amnotts, who could not have children, into believing she was a government agent before convincing them to help her carry out the abduction in return for a child of their own.

They say Hayes, who was living with boyfriend Reburn in Maryland, contacted the couple claiming that three of her own children had been kidnapped and were in the custody of two separate Mennonite farming families in the town of Dayton.

Court documents say Frank Amnott, Jennifer Amnott, Hayes, and Reburn devised a plan to take the children - who were found to be unrelated to Hayes - and kidnap two others, all under the age of eight.

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The US Attorney’s Office said the murderous plan “sought to eliminate witnesses to the abductions” by executing both sets of parents.

It said Jennifer Amnott remained in Maryland watching Hayes’ real children on the night of the incident, July 29, 2018, while she approached the first house disguised as a Mennonite.

She forced her way inside with Reburn and Frank Amnott, who held the father at gunpoint.

The mother ran out to a cornfield with a cordless phone and dialled 911 while Amnott bound the father’s wrists and held him hostage in the basement.

As officers arrived, Hayes and Reburn were able to escape back to Maryland but Frank Amnott was arrested at the scene.

He pleaded guilty in December 2019 at a Harrisonburg court to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, one count of conspiracy to kill witnesses and a firearm offence.

Conspiracy to kill witnesses carries a statuary sentence of mandatory life in prison.

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US Attorney Cullen said: “Although the facts of this case read like the script of a bad horror movie, the defendants’ murderous plot was real and it posed a grave risk to their intended victims.”

An affidavit written by an FBI agent investigating the case last year detailed over 1000 text exchanges between numbers linked to the Amnotts, Hayes and Reburn, outlining their alleged plan.

Frank and Jennifer Amnott were desperate to have a child © Daily Record Frank and Jennifer Amnott were desperate to have a child

Texts from Hayes’ mobile phone number advise Jennifer to prepare by buying clothes for one of the children.

Days after the failed kidnap bid, Jennifer Amnott’s number texts Hayes’, writing: “Boarded,” to which she recieves the reply, “see you soon in Glasgow.”

According to the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency, Hayes travelled to the UK a week later with Reburn, her ex-husband and their children.

Jennifer Amnott attempted to travel to Ireland but was denied entry after providing conflicting statements to immigration officials.

She returned to the US then flew to Iceland.

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The affidavit said the travel plans were “suspected to be an attempt to flee law enforcement authorities”.

All three suspects were arrested in Glasgow on November 28, 2018 - almost four months after arriving in the UK.

Hayes, a former behavioural analyst, has previously stated that she is being framed by her former partner, a high ranking intelligence officer in the US military.

Her lawyer in Scotland, Jelina Rahman, previously said Hayes claims to have faced “inhuman, degrading treatment, torture and persecution” from her husband, saying her “biggest fear is to return to the USA”.

Gary Reburn © Daily Record Gary Reburn

Last year Ms Rahman made a failed bid for her client to be released on bail, telling the Record she was worried for her health in prison during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hayes and Reburn, a former high school lacrosse coach, are understood to be being held at HMP Edinburgh.

A full extradition hearing was heard for the three suspects at Edinburgh Sheriff Court this summer and a sheriff issued a judgement in the case at the end of July, the details of which have not been made public.

But orders granting their extraditions have now been signed and the trio were given 14 days to appeal the decision at the end of last month, which expires on Monday.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Cabinet Secretary for Justice has approved the extradition to the United States of Gary Reburn, Valerie Hayes and Jennifer Amnott.

“Ms Hayes, Mr Reburn and Ms Amnott have a right of appeal to the High Court of Justiciary in respect of these orders of the Scottish Ministers, subject to being granted permission to appeal by that court.

“The Scottish Government will offer no further comment on these cases.”

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This is interesting!