Herrarte guilty of lesser kidnapping charge
OTTUMWA, Iowa —
A botched drug deal ended with an Ottumwa man convicted of kidnapping.
On Monday afternoon, Joel Herrarte was found guilty of Third-Degree Kidnapping, Willful Injury and Assault.
The charges stem from a February 2016 incident.
Herrarte and two co-defendants held an Ottumwa woman at for three days at the Stardust Hotel after a $400 drug deal went bad.
Herrarte was apparently attempting to send a message to other customers who might refuse to pay.
It took Judge Shawn Showers about a half hour to read the verdict and explain his decision.
And there was at least some good news for the defense.
Herrarte was originally charged with Second-Degree Kidnapping.
Showers argued the evidence only supported the lesser charge.
That means Herrarte could find himself facing up to 15 fewer years in prison.
He will be sentenced on August 7, 2017.
Herrarte's co-defendants previously entered into plea deals.