Handyman Held Hostage, Forced to Fix Home

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on December 06, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A handyman trying to settle a payment dispute ended up being held hostage in Morgan Hill, California.

The handyman arrived at the home of Jason DeJesus and Chanelle Troedson on Monday morning, presumably to talk about a dispute over past work he'd done. The man had previously worked on repairs for DeJesus' mother, and not been paid in full.

But that morning the pair beat him, threatened his life, and forced the handyman to make repairs around the house. So the man bided his time and waited for a chance to escape.

That opportunity presented itself hours later, when the couple forced the man into a truck, telling him he would have to make repairs at another house. But when they stopped for gas, he ran off, reports San Francisco's KPIX-TV.

DeJesus and Troedson were arrested soon after the man contacted police. They were later charged with felony kidnapping and conspiracy, among other crimes.

Kidnapping is a crime that's commonly associated with children, but it's not restricted to that group. Legally, kidnapping is taking anyone from one place to another against his will, or confining him in an enclosed space, regardless of size.

In personal injury law, it's called false imprisonment. But it's also a crime.

The conspiracy charges indicate that prosecutors think DeJesus and Troedson planned this kidnapping. That makes sense given the public facts -- that the handyman was lured onto the property, at least according to KPIX.

A criminal conspiracy requires at least two people who hatch a plan to commit a crime and put that plan into action. It's not something one person can do alone.

But it doesn't require any other crime occur. All that's necessary is that the conspirators put the first step of their plan into motion, even if it fails to lead to the planned crime.

The handyman is doing well, if not somewhat shaken from his ordeal. His kidnappers, meanwhile, will have to deal with the consequences of their actions at trial.

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