Witnesses testify in court in Erwin kidnapping case


UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – News Channel 11 was inside the Unicoi County courtroom for a preliminary hearing for the man accused of kidnapping a child, and then leaving that child on the side of the road.

We first brought you the breaking news in May when officials with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department arrested Justin Claude Richardson of Erwin and charged him with kidnapping.

According to police, Richardson reportedly took a 5-year-old child from the 4900 block of Unicoi Drive and then abandoned the child on the side of the road near Volunteer Drive.

SEE ALSO: Erwin man charged with kidnapping child, leaving her on side of road

Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said the family member had no knowledge of the abduction. Only Richardson was arrested. 

A preliminary hearing Thursday lasted more than two hours as several witnesses, including a neighbor, testified against Richardson.

The courtroom was also shown video of the child’s testimony to authorities. Authorities said the child was able to pick Richardson out of a lineup.

Richardson’s case has been bound over to the grand jury.

His next court date is scheduled for October 7th.

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