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Kidnapper Sentenced To 15 Years

Last updated on Tuesday, September 25, 2012

(TERRE HAUTE) - A couple arrested for kidnapping a Terre Haute child in 2011 is receiving their sentencing in federal court Monday and Tuesday.

WTHI reports, April Bell and Nicholas Runyon were arrested for kidnapping a 4-year-old from Terre Haute in July of 2011 .

Bell was sentenced Monday afternoon in federal court to 15 years in prison, for helping Runyon kidnap John Johnson Christian, and fleeing to as far as Kentucky before being arrested.

Bell and Runyon originally lied to baby "Jon-Jon's" mother, stating they were taking the boy to a birthday party, but never returned.

The couple crossed at least two state-lines while trying to evade Police.

After a three day search, Police were able to follow Bell's ATM trail, and found the three of them at a hotel in Pikeville, Kentucky.

Samuel McGranahan, April Bell's father says his daughter claims she didn't know she was taking part in a kidnapping. But according to police, that wasn't the case.

Police found letters that Bell and Runyon left behind for their families saying they were taking baby Jon Jon and had no intention of returning but Bell's father says now his daughter claims she was a victim too.

McGranahan says his daughter was threatened. He says Runyon threatened to kill his daughter and the boy. He also claims Rynyon was giving his daughter drugs.

In court Monday afternoon, Bell apologized for her actions. Nicholas Runyon, will be sentenced Tuesday morning in Federal Court.

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