BEDFORD – A Bedford man who was arrested after Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies attempted to locate a missing juvenile female, February 1, in the 900 block of Lincoln Avenue pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
21-year-old Justin McMahan was arrested after extensively delaying answering the door, when officers knocked. During the delay, officers still had a visual on the missing juvenile until she vacated the room.
McMahan answered the door and denied knowing the missing juvenile female’s location.
Officers detained McMahan and searched the home. Officers could not locate the missing juvenile and questioned McMahan on her whereabouts. However, McMahan again denied having any knowledge of her location.
Officers located a hidden compartment in a wall of the residence. The missing juvenile female was located within that hidden compartment.
Officers had to remove multiple shelving units from the front of the entrance to the hidden compartment. Officers stated only McMahan could have put the shelving units in front of the entrance after the female entered.
Officers also recovered four cell phones from the home, which belonged to the missing juvenile. Those were seized to search after the female’s legal guardian requested they be searched for possible child sex crimes committed between McMahan and the missing female juvenile.
McMahan was arrested on charges of false informing, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
On Monday, April 26th McMahan pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The charge of false informing was dropped in a negotiated plea agreement.
McMahan was sentenced to 60 days in jail and received credit for one day served. Superior Court Judge John Plummer III suspended 58 days and placed McMahan on 365 days of supervised probation. He will also serve 40 hours working with the road crew or community corrections.