Richfield Man Pleads Guilty in Abduction of Verizon Wireless Store Manager

Updated: 03/11/2014 5:39 PM
Created: 03/11/2014 1:46 PM
By: Leslie Dyste

One of two men charged in an abduction of a Verizon Wireless store manager pleaded guilty Tuesday.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, 29-year-old Ronald Jackson of Richfield will be sentenced April 29.

Thirty-year-old William Charles Graham of New Hope is also charged in the case.

A woman called police around 9:21 p.m. on Sept. 11 to report that her 37-year-old husband came home, parked his vehicle in the driveway - but never entered their home, the complaint said. The woman also noticed a red vehicle in the neighbor's driveway and heard some commotion.

She then heard the red vehicle's trunk slam shut and take off eastbound on Chippewa Road. The woman told police that she believed her husband went to the red car.

The neighbor also told police that he saw the vehicle, which was a Dodge Charger, pull into his driveway for a few minutes before driving off.

Police located the vehicle at 9:48 p.m. parked north of Highway 55 on Pioneer Trail, which is within close proximity to the victim's home, the complaint said. Two men were outside the vehicle. Police told the men to put their hands up, but the men didn't comply.

The men complied when police asked them a second time, but the men left the area when a pounding sound came from the trunk of the suspect's vehicle, the complaint said.

Police found the victim inside the trunk and recovered a BB gun lying in the ditch to the rear of the suspect vehicle.

The victim told police that he worked at a Verizon store in Minneapolis, police said.

He had returned home from work when he saw a red vehicle pull into his neighbor's driveway very fast, according to the complaint. Graham, who was wearing a white surgical mask and holding a gun, then approached him and ordered him to get out of the car.

Graham told the man to get in the red vehicle then tied his hands behind his back with a zip tie, the complaint said. They then pushed him into the trunk and drove away.

During the ride, Graham asked the man about working at the Verizon store and the amount of money that the store had inside, the complaint said. He also asked about the store keys. The men searched the victim's pants and found his car keys, which had the store's keys.

Police and the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter eventually tracked the suspects down in a field in Corcoran and arrested them around 1 a.m. Officers also found a roll of duct tape and zip ties in the vehicle.

The victim was not hurt, but a sheriff's deputy suffered injuries.

Medina Police originally said the victim and suspects didn't know each other, but later said the incident doesn't appear to be random.

At a plea hearing Monday, Jackson admitted to snatching the victim and tying him up before putting him in the trunk. Jackson also said Graham had asked the victim where his keys to the store were, and learned they were in the victim's car. He also admitted that the BB gun in the ditch belonged to Graham.

Graham's trial is scheduled for June 2.

Ronald Jermaine Jackson (left) and William Charles Graham.
Photos: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

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