Louisiana Millionaire Pleads Guilty In Wife’s Kidnapping
A Lafayette, Louisiana businessman has pleaded guilty to having his wife kidnapped in a plot that ended when the two suspects drowned while trying to flee from police.
Tech millionaire Michael Handley reached a guilty plea agreement in Judicial District Court in Lafayette. According to numerous sources, the deal calls for Handley, who pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree kidnapping, to serve concurrent terms, the longest being 35 years.
According to WBRZ TV, "prosecutors agreed to drop two conspiracy charges, one to commit second-degree murder and one to commit aggravated kidnapping, and one of violating a protective order, the report said. They also reduced an aggravated kidnapping charge to second-degree kidnapping."
The 53-year-old Handley has been jailed in Lafayette Parish since August 2017, when he was arrested on charges accusing him of hiring a pair of Mississippi men to kidnap his wife, from who he was separated.
But according to ABC News, the plan began to unravel right away, and with a tragic ending. "The men, Sylvester Bracy and Arsenio Haynes, both 27, tried to get around a traffic jam by driving on the shoulder of Interstate 10. Authorities said they drowned after apparently jumping into the Intracoastal Waterway while trying to elude an off-duty sheriff's deputy."
Handley's wife was found alive in the van, which had been abandoned by the two kidnappers.
WBRZ says that Handley, whose worth has been estimated to be in excess of $20 million, made his fortune by the time he was 30. They add that his troubles began when he "drinking heavily, lost most of his money and was barred from seeing his children."