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Kidnap, rape gets 7-14 year sentence

Mary Pickels
| Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Fayette County man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape will serve seven to 14 years in prison.

Howard Leslie Layhue II, 36, of Georges entered the guilty pleas in April in exchange for the sentence.

Judge Ralph Warman told Layhue on Tuesday that he could have served up to 20 years imprisonment and faced fines of $25,000 on each charge.

A sentencing hearing scheduled earlier this month was postponed after Layhue's attorney, Nicholas Timperio of Uniontown, failed to appear. Layhue told Warman he intended to withdraw his plea and hire a new attorney.

Timperio represented Layhue yesterday.

"He does not want to withdraw. He just wants to be sentenced," Timperio told Warman.

Layhue declined to address the court. No victim impact statements were given before sentencing.

Warman said Layhue will serve the two identical sentences for rape and kidnapping concurrently at the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh.

Guilty pleas to additional charges of terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, prohibited offensive weapon and criminal mischief were accepted without further penalty.

Warman said Layhue should be evaluated while in prison for sexual offender treatment.

Before being paroled, he must register his address with the state police on a quarterly basis for the rest of his life, Warman said.

On Oct. 2, 2009, Layhue allegedly kidnapped a woman after she dropped off her young son at school, then sexually assaulted her in a camper in Wharton, police said.

The Tribune-Review does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The incident started as the woman, who knows Layhue, got back into her vehicle at the school. Police said Layhue demanded that the woman unlock the door, according to an affidavit filed by Trooper John F. Marshall.

When the woman refused, Layhue, armed with a sawed-off shotgun, pounded on the window, causing it to shatter and cut the woman's left hand, according to the complaint. Layhue allegedly forced the woman into the passenger seat and drove to a camper along Quebec Run Road. He told the woman that he had two bullets for the shotgun.

He then raped the woman at gunpoint, according to the affidavit.

State police, who had been alerted to the kidnapping, arrived at Quebec Run Road and found Layhue and the victim outside the camper. Layhue ran into the woods, where police lost sight of him. Police found the shotgun at the scene.

He was found shortly afterward at Hutchinson Park in South Union, after police received a tip. When troopers arrived, Layhue got out of a vehicle and ran but was caught after a short chase.

Layhue had remained in the Fayette County Prison in lieu of $1 million bond, which Warman set in March when he failed to appear for trial.

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