A Farina man charged with aggravated kidnapping stemming from an incident in July made an appearance in Fayette County Court on Wednesday. 34-year old Darrel K. Moulton appeared in court for a preliminary hearing on Thursday with public defender Walter Lookofsky. Assistant State’s Attorney Brenda Mathis called Vandalia Police Officer Shannon Neiber as a witness and Neiber testified that she responded to a call from Moulton in which he stated he was having trouble getting his kids from their relative. Neiber testified that she made contact with the mother of the children who said Moulton did not have any custody rights for the children and that he tried to take the three kids but the older two kids got away while the youngest child, a 9-year old, was grabbed by his father around the waist and put into the vehicle. Neiber said the mother requested an Amber Alert be issued after which Neiber contacted the phone company who pinged Moulton’s phone in the Centralia area before being pinged in Fayette County again. The state also called Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Carter to testify. Carter was present along with another officer and went to Moulton’s residence after his cell phone pinged there and were able to get Moulton to release the child and be taken into custody. After hearing the testimony and also hearing case law presented by defense attorney Lookofsky, Judge Don Schaefor said he would review the case law and reserve his judgement on whether or not there is probable cause to continue the matter until after he had completed his review. A status hearing in the matter is now set for October 4 at 9am.
Moulton is charged with aggravated kidnapping as on July 30th, he allegedly, “knowingly and secretly confined Gahret K. Moulton, a child under the age of 13 years, against his will.” Moulton remains in the Fayette County Jail on $500,000 bond.