Cops: Jailed Inmate Ordered Prosecutor's Dad Kidnapped

Had phone in prison; victim was rescued

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 12, 2014 8:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – An inmate in North Carolina is accused of getting revenge on the prosecutor who put him away for life by orchestrating the kidnapping of her father from behind bars, reports the News & Observer. Authorities say Kevin Melton had a cell phone in prison and exchanged more than 100 calls and texts with co-conspirators on the outside to set up the kidnapping of 63-year-old Frank Arthur Janssen from his home in Wake Forest. Janssen is the father of Colleen Janssen, an assistant DA who got a conviction against Melton in a 2011 shooting case. Luckily, police were able to trace the phone messages and rescue Janssen, who had been taken to Atlanta, after three days. Five other people have been charged in the case.

After the kidnapping, Janssen's wife began getting threatening texts, one of which included an image of her husband tied to a chair. "Tomorrow we call you again an if you can not tell me where my things are at tomorrow i will start torchering." In earlier texts, the kidnappers made unspecified requests for the benefit of Melton, reports AP. In one recorded call between Melton and another man, a male voice says, "We want to make sure it's in a secluded area and the ground is soft so we can go 3 feet deep," suggesting that they were preparing to kill their victim.

Kevin Melton
Kevin Melton   (Provided photo)
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