South Carolina (Noelle Phillips-The State) – A Kershaw County man’s attempt to fake his own kidnapping Thursday went awry, starting when his mother negotiated down his ransom to $60 from $100.
Christopher Hutto, 30, of Elgin was charged with extortion for orchestrating the kidnapping and then trying to get money from his mother, said Sheriff Jim Matthews.
Hutto had tried to get his mother to pay $100 to find out where the supposed kidnapper had dumped his allegedly badly beaten body, Matthews said. But his mother got the suspected kidnapper to drop the price by $40 after she said couldn’t afford to pay that much for the information.
“Maybe he was a problem child,” Matthews said, joking.
Hutto’s mother began receiving text messages Thursday night that said her son had been severely beaten and dropped in the woods at an unknown location, Matthews said. The texts, which were coming from Hutto’s phone, also said he was near death.
Kershaw County deputies called the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to help catch the suspected kidnapper, Matthews said.
But when police staked out a drop off location for the money they saw Hutto running from the site with the money, Matthews said. He was captured after a short foot chase.
Hutto had planned to use the money to buy crack cocaine, Matthews said.
“This guy’s a crack head, and we used all of these resources to ensure his safe return, and it turns out he orchestrated the whole thing,” Matthews said.
The penalty for extortion is up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.