by: Ken Lemon Updated:
GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Kidnapping victims Tony Patterson and Claude Burdette wanted to personally be there to see Reginald Rice plead guilty.
"We were personally involved, we want to personally see what happens," said Patterson.
Rice is charged with helping kidnappers who forced their victims at gunpoint to withdraw money from ATMs.
Burdette and Patterson were kidnapped outside of a Gastonia church where they volunteered.
"That day will never be forgotten,” Burdette said.
Channel 9 was there in September when the men were greeted with hugs as they were safely returned a couple of hours after they were kidnapped.
They believed that the masked suspects identified as Adrian Goode and James Alexander were going to kill them.
Police arrested them and Imani Jordan after they questioned Rice.
"His statements are the most compelling and the strongest evidence against them,” said defense attorney Rob Corbett.
Rice said he and Lee dropped the robbers of just before the kidnappings and picked them up after they abandoned their victims.
They all shared the stolen money.
Rice accepted a sentence of seven years Friday that will be cut to three if he testifies against his co-defendants.
He has agreed to do that.
"I forgive him for what he done because now he knows that he done wrong,” Patterson said.
These victims said it is the first step in healing the experiencing that has them still worried about kidnappers.
“You hear things, people coming up behind you. It still bothers you,” Patterson said.
Hearing dates for the other three suspects have not be set.
Burdette and Patterson said when the dates are added they will be there for those hearings too.