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Shields gets 18 years after guilty kidnapping verdict
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Donald Lee Shields Jr. is pictured after his conviction in July.

A local man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after he was found guilty following a two-day jury trial in July of especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Donald Lee Shields Jr. was ordered to serve 18 years at 100 percent and make $3,500 restitution by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley.

Shields was sentenced for his role in holding four people hostage at a home on Cherry Springs Road in the Centertown area. The victims were kicked, threatened at gunpoint, and one was tied and hooked to the back of a pickup at one point.

For his defense, Shields maintained he was at the home periodically, but was not an active part of the kidnapping. He said he came and left during the three-day hostage situation and claimed the victims were free to leave too.

The jury didn’t buy that version of events and returned a verdict that agreed with the case presented by prosecutor Matt Colvard.

According to evidence, the four kidnapping victims showed up at a residence on Cherry Springs Road to buy meth. The drug deal was complete and the victims were preparing to leave when the alleged drug dealer, Zachery Turner, reportedly lost 20 grams of meth and believed it was stolen by the visitors.

Turner ordered all of the victims back inside. He told them they could not leave until they returned his meth or gave him $2,000 to pay for it. He then took their cellphones. The victims say they were held against their will from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11, 2017.

A female victim testified about having her legs tied up and hooked to the back of a truck while being threatened she was going to be dragged down the road. Shields was said to be the one in the driver’s seat during that ordeal. Shields said he put the vehicle in park and refused to drive.

The victims were eventually able to escape and sought help nearby.

Turner and accomplice Jeffery Scott Pegg have already been sentenced for their roles in the hostage situation. With Sheilds’ sentence, cases have been resolved for everyone involved.