16-year-old among 3 arrested in kidnapping of another teen

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Police say a love triangle led a 16-year-old boy and two others to abduct and assault another teenager.

The victim was abducted Sunday and was found assaulted and still tied up in the yard of a home some 10 miles away, authorities said.

Bernillius Duckworth and McKinley Hodges, both 20, and Nieko McGowan, 16, are all charged with kidnapping, which can be punishable by up to life imprisonment. McGowan is charged as an adult.

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Investigators believe the kidnapping occurred after McGowan allegedly found the 17-year-old at his girlfriend’s house and became angry.

The kidnapping was reported from a home in the Orange Grove community of Gulfport around 5:30 a.m. Sunday. The victim was found in the Gaston Point community, which is near Long Beach.

Police did not identify the victim. He was not able to tell officers what happened to him when he was found laying on the grass in front of a residence, Police Chief Alan Weatherford said in a Sun Herald newspaper article.

“When our officers got there, the victim was on the grass, still bound, and three individuals were standing around him,” Weatherford said.

The suspects were taken to the Harrison County Jail and were being held on bonds of $100,000 for Duckworth and $50,000 each for McGowan and Hodges.

After appearances before a judge on Monday, McGowan and Duckworth were ordered held without bond. The jail docket shows Duckworth was on bond after waiving a preliminary hearing on a statutory rape charge, the paper reported. Hodges’ bond was reduced to $10,000.