Masontown man sentenced on lesser charges in kidnapping
One of four people accused of grabbing a man from outside a bar was sentenced on Tuesday on reduced charges.
Fayette County Judge Joseph George Jr. sentenced Ronald Lee Smith, 37, of Masontown to four to 23 months in the county jail on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful restraint.
Under a plea bargain, felony charges, including aggravated assault, kidnapping and robbery, were dropped.
Smith, who has served 128 days, is eligible for immediate parole in the case that police attributed to an allegedly stolen purse.
Smith was one of four people accused in a July 18 kidnapping plot that ended when the victim, Garrett Moody of Point Marion, caused a head-on collision between two pickup trucks.
Point Marion residents Harley Davis King, 37; Christopher Nicholas Foster, 25; and Jessica Lane Jones, 34, are awaiting trial.
During a hearing in December, Moody testified he intentionally steered a truck into an oncoming truck on Seghi Road in Georges Township to stop his own kidnapping.
“I see a vehicle coming, and I know it's my only chance to wreck the truck and possibly be seen,” Moody testified. “I grabbed the steering wheel. I ended up hitting an innocent bystander.”
The other driver, Christine Roszac of Smithfield, testified in December that her ankle was shattered in the accident, and doctors have told her she will always walk with a limp. Her 8-year-old son was treated in Uniontown Hospital for cuts and bruises.
Moody testified he was riding in a car with a female companion on July 18 when she stopped at Johnny's Part 2 bar in Georges to buy drugs. He testified he was outside in the vehicle when King, Smith, Foster and Jones surrounded it.
Moody was pulled from the vehicle and hit several times with a metal wrench, he testified. He got into the truck after King pointed a handgun at him, Moody testified.
Moody testified he was seated between Smith and King, who was driving, when Smith asked King if the pair intended to take Moody to the mountains to break his legs.
King said he intended to shoot Moody, he testified.
“I knew I needed to wreck this vehicle if I had a chance of escaping,” Moody testified. “I was in that fight-or-flight mentality.”
Moody ran to a nearby house upon crashing, told a woman he had been kidnapped and then ran into a wooded area until an ambulance arrived.
Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Frazier School District’s credit rating downgraded
- Democratic sheriff candidates in Fayette split on responsibility of office
- Mercer County group seeks input on trails from Connellsville
- Park, library upgrades on agenda for Connellsville Redevelopment Authority
- Fayette woman wins $13M discrimination lawsuit
- Sex trafficking survivor to speak at Penn State Fayette
- Dawson church to present spring smorgasbord
- Connellsville wants to fill city-owned buildings
- Connellsville community cleanup planned Saturday; volunteers needed
- Residents urged to volunteer in effort to scour Connellsville
- 12th annual Connellsville Community Yard Sale around corner