BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A grand jury has indicted two people accused of kidnapping a prominent Birmingham businessman and collecting ransom money.
Elton B. Stephens Jr. was kidnapped in a home invasion on Friday, Sept. 11.
According to court documents, Matthew Amos Burke and Tabatha Nicole Hodges abducted Stephens with the intent to hold him for ransom or reward.
A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Burke and Hodges each with one count of conspiracy and one count of kidnapping.
According to the indictment, Burke and Hodges traveled to Stephens' home, abducted him and took him to a home in Remlap in an effort to obtain ransom money in the amount of $250,000. A wire transfer in the amount of $250,000 was sent to a bank account belonging to Hodges. After receiving the ransom money, Burke and Hodges took Stephens back to his home and released him. Burke told him that his family would be killed if he called the police about the kidnapping or the ransom.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison. The maximum penalty for kidnapping is up to life in prison.
FBI and United States Secret Service investigated the case, along with Birmingham Police Department, and Mountain Brook Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John G. Camp and Assistant United States Attorney William G. Simpson.