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Masontown man sentenced on lesser charges in kidnapping

| Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 11:39 a.m.

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 lzemba@tribweb.com.

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