Suspects face judge in Burke County kidnapping, murder case

Suspects face judge in Burke County kidnapping, murder case

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. — Three suspects in a kidnapping and ransom case in Burke County faced a judge Wednesday in Mountain City, Tennessee.

Carlton Edmondson was kidnapped last month in Valdese, taken to Boone, and then to Trade, Tennessee where police believe he was beaten to death.

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Edmondson’s body has not been found.

<p><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="line-height:107%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif">Carlton Lamaar Edmondson (image courtesy&nbsp;Burke County Sheriff&#39;s Office)</span></span></span></p>

Carlton Lamaar Edmondson (image courtesy Burke County Sheriff's Office)


Prosecutors charged the three suspects with murder because one of them took a graphic cellphone video of the beating.

James Combs, Stacy May and Brittany Arnold said very little as they appeared before a judge.

Edmondson’s parents came to Mountain City hoping for answers in the case.

"I never wanted to be here,” his mother, Lanisha Kincaid, said. “I never ever wanted to be here in a murder case with my child but I have to be here. He's no longer got a voice."

Edmondson's kidnappers began making ransom demands to his parents, prosecutors said.

They called his parents about six times.

Investigators believe they kidnapped Edmondson because he allegedly ripped them off while buying some methamphetamine.

One of the people arrested in the case recorded two cellphone videos of the 30-year-old man being attacked in Tennessee

"If it's going to get justice for my son, then let's play the video," Edmondson’s father, Robert Pearson, said.

Family members broke down during the hearing as they described the ransom calls.

The judge must decide if a crime was committed and if there is probable cause to believe the three were responsible for the murder.

"I wake up in the middle of the night facing the floor,” Kincaid said. “I want my son back. I want to put closure to this. I need to put closure to this."

Prosecutors played the cellphone video Wednesday.

The judge said there's a possibility the case could end up in front of a grand jury.

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