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July 2, 2013

Trial set this fall in aggravated kidnapping case

GREENVILLE — A trial date has been set this fall for a former Delta County resident, facing additional charges in connection with a January 2010 reported kidnapping which crossed state lines and resulted in a chase through Lamar County.

Charles Ray Stevens, 56, who had previously listed an address in the unincorporated area of Lake Creek, was indicted by the Hunt County grand jury in September 2010 on a charge of aggravated kidnapping. Stevens was alleged in the indictment to have kidnapped a female victim at knifepoint. The same panel also returned two sealed indictments, both for aggravated sexual assault.  Stevens has pleaded not guilty to all three counts.

Stevens was returned from state prison for a hearing Monday in the 354th District Court, at which time Judge Richard A. Beacom set a tentative trial date for November 4.

According to a report from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office, the kidnapping occurred Jan. 31, 2010 at a Campbell residence, where the victim was forced into a vehicle by Stevens, who reportedly drove the victim north into Oklahoma.

When Stevens stopped at a grocery store in Boswell, Okla., the victim, still handcuffed, escaped from the vehicle. She was assisted by citizens who contacted the Choctaw County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office. Stevens then fled the area in the victim’s car.

That afternoon officers in Lamar County spotted the vehicle traveling back toward Hunt County. A high speed pursuit ensued ending in a several hour standoff with Texas law enforcement from multiple agencies which ended with Stevens being taken into custody and transported to the Lamar County jail.

Stevens pleaded guilty in Lamar County in June 2010 to felony charges of assault against a public servant and evading arrest in connection with the incident and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The Hunt County indictment against Stevens also lists four previous convictions for burglary of a building and one conviction each for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and escape.

Aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault are both first degree felony charges, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison.

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