BCSO aides in investigation that leads to kidnapping conviction

Published 2:16 pm Friday, July 1, 2011

MONTGOMERY – Therral Hatfield, Sr., age 26, of Jefferson, La., was sentenced to 32 years in federal prison for kidnapping his ex-fiancée and her two children at gunpoint, U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., announced Thursday.

A federal jury in Montgomery found Hatfield guilty last November after a three-day trial.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation.BCSO aides in arrest that leads to kidnapping conviction

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Evidence presented at the trial showed that in the early morning hours of April 21, 2010, Hatfield, upset by the couple’s recent breakup, lured his former fiancée, Latasha Hill, 29, to a quiet neighborhood street in New Orleans. After climbing into her car, he pointed a loaded gun at their 2-year-old son’s head and ordered Hill to drive. Hill’s 7-year-old daughter was sitting in the backseat.

During the ensuing six hours, Hatfield kept Hill and her children in the car as he drove them from Louisiana through Mississippi to Alabama en route to Atlanta, where he planned to start a new life with Hill.

During a stop in Escambia County, Hill went into the women’s bathroom at the Yellowhammer Convenience Store and scribbled a note on a paper towel asking for help, while Hatfield stood outside the bathroom door. The note included a description of her car, the direction they were traveling and a phone number for her family.

The note was found by another customer and Yellowhammer employees quickly alerted law enforcement officials.

Alabama State Trooper Adam Robinson spotted Hill’s car traveling northbound on Interstate 65 and initiated a traffic stop just across the Butler County line. Officers found a loaded Ruger 45 automatic handgun and a box of ammunition and a backpack containing ammunition in the car.

Hatfield was arrested at the scene.

Evidence presented at the trial said that Hatfield, a New Orleans native, was on the cusp of breaking into the NFL as a free agent running back prior to his arrest.

Along with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, agents with the FBI’s Montgomery and New Orlean’s field offices, the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Conecuh County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Charles Sheriff’s Office and the New Orleans Police Department took part in the investigation.