Three in custody after car-jacking

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2001

Georgiana police arrested three suspects, two of them just 12 hours after a car-jacking/robbery and kidnapping occurred on Friday night.

In an incident that began at the Jr. Mart on Ala. Hwy. 106 at Parmer Avenue, two juveniles were initially asked for a ride, and ended up at gunpoint on a dirt road, held for over two hours.

"We received a call from the parent of one of the juveniles shortly after 10 p.m. Friday," said Investigator Neal Nelson of the Georgiana Police Department. "The call was originally put out as a car-jacking, but as we investigated the case, it soon became apparent that this was a robbery and kidnapping."

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Nelson said that what took place started out as two juveniles helping out someone they knew.

"According to statements from the victims, which was corroborated by statements from the suspects, at approximately 7:45 p.m. Friday they drove through the parking lot at the Jr. Mart, and were flagged-down by Brett McCall, age 17 of Georgiana-he asked them to give him and his two friends a ride to Pineview, and they agreed to help.

"McCall and his two friends, Brian Lawson, age 19 of Hanks Avenue and Carl Lakoris McCaskill, 23 of Pinehurst Drive all got into the back seat of the car," Nelson said. "Both of the victims said that they knew the trio, and they believed the suspects were drinking alcohol-the suspects have all said that they were drinking that night."

Nelson said what unfolded after that was purely terror for the victims.

"As they were traveling north on North Parmer Avenue, at some point, McCall told them to turn off of the paved road onto a dirt road that led behind Austin School, so he could relieve himself. After they came to a stop, McCall got out of the vehicle, produced a sawed-off shotgun, and ordered everyone to get out of the vehicle," Nelson said.

Nelson said that over the next 30 minutes, the two victims were robbed at gunpoint.

"In that 30 minutes, the victims were repeatedly threatened with death, and one of them was tied up with a shirt," Nelson said. "Both victims were struck several times.

"One of the suspects, Lawson, left in the vehicle and returned a while later," Nelson said. "In the meantime, the two remaining suspects, McCall and McCaskill used the victim's cellular phone, making several calls, including long-distance calls to Alaska," he said.

"When Lawson returned to the location where they were, he ran the vehicle off the road, sliding in the mud, getting it stuck," Nelson said. "They unsuccessfully tried to push it out of the mud."

Nelson said the suspects then stripped the vehicle of its stereo equipment, and stole the cash

both victims had in their pockets.

"The victims were next ordered, still at gun-point, to walk down a trail that went into the woods-after they had gone approximately 2,000 feet, they were told to run away, or they would be shot," Nelson said.

Nelson said that that was when one of the victims called his father, who called the Georgiana Police Department.

"The suspects were all identified, and Captain James Whittington and myself apprehended McCall and McCaskill at approximately 11 a.m. Saturday," Nelson said. "A lookout was posted via radio for McCall, and officers apprehended McCall at approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday."

Nelson said the three suspects have all been charged with two counts each of robbery in the first degree, and kidnapping in the second degree.

"Lawson also has been charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree," Nelson said. "All three suspects were transported to the Butler County Jail, where they were booked.

"Lawson will be held on $103,000 bond, and McCall and McCaskill will each have $100,000 bond, if the judge sets them according to schedule," Nelson said.