Suspect in teen kidnapping appears in court, denied bond - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Suspect in teen kidnapping appears in court, denied bond

Wildrego Jackson Wildrego Jackson

Wildrego Jackson appeared in federal court Thursday hoping a judge would dismiss the charges against him, but he left disappointed. U.S. Magistrate Judge Russell Vineyard ruled there was enough evidence for Jackson to stand trial for the kidnapping of 17-year-old Ayvani Perez.

We are confident enough to make the arrest, and we think that as we continue to investigate, especially when we get all the telephone records we requested, that is going to make the case even more solid," said Katherine Hoffer, an Asst. U.S. Attorney.

Right now the government is basing its case on telephone records. During the hearing, it was revealed no one, including Perez, who was blind folded during much of her abduction, has identified Jackson as one of the kidnappers. And authorities admit he does not resemble either of the suspect sketches released to the public. Investigators said as many as five people took part in the plan including at least one, but as many as two women. They also said the kidnappers made nine phone calls to Perez's family during the ordeal. But because Jackson has not been positively identified and investigators don't have anyone who puts the phones in Jackson's hands when the calls were made, his attorney said she believes the government's case is weak. But that's not how prosecutors sees it.

"We feel like our evidence connects Jackson to the phones, actually both phones. One that was in his possession and one that was used to make some ransom calls. Those two phones were calling each other, and they were both hitting off the tower where the victim's residence is or the one that serves the victim residence area during the hour of the kidnapping," said Hoffer. "What is next for us is we will bring an indictment within 30 days of Jackson's arrest and we are hoping to get at least two other suspects if not four more, into custody and indicted also."

Court documents show it was Jackson's cell phone that was used to call the family of Ayvani Perez to demand a ransom of drugs and money. However, Jackson was not in possession of the phone during the kidnapping, and he has not been identified by the victim or anyone else in the case.

Perez was not physically harmed during the 36 hours she was held hostage.

Jackson has been arrested more than 30 times in the last 10 years and has three felony convictions. In court Thursday, Jackson said he is being treated unfairly in jail. He claimed he is being kept in isolation, unable to leave his cell which he said features a light that never goes off. He also said he has been denied a shower or the right to call his family or attorney.

Jackson told Judge Russell Vineyard he found a pill buried in peanut butter he was given. Authorities said the pill turned out to be an anti-depression prescription drug. Jackson has not been diagnosed with any mental health issues and has not been prescribed any medicine. Vineyard said he would look into Jackson's accusations. 

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly