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Two men sentenced in federal kidnapping case

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LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two men from Whitley and Laurel Counties were sentenced to prison in a federal kidnapping case.

On Tuesday, 40-year old Gene Jones II, of East Bernstadt, was sentenced to nineteen-and-a-half years in prison.

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28-year old Nigel Medlin, of Rockholds, received just over 18-years, according to prosecutors.

Both men had previously pleaded guilty.

According to their plea agreements, on April 2, 2017, Medlin, 33-year old Sean Fredrick, a second defendant, and a third defendant, 34-year old Eric Wayne Collins, kidnapped three victims, for the purpose of assaulting one victim because of a missing truck, according to prosecutors.

Medlin admitted to contacting the victim through Facebook Messenger and arranging a meeting in the Walmart parking lot in London, by pretending to buy methamphetamine. The three admitted to waiting on the victim, who arrived to the parking lot with two others, according to investigators.

Medlin and others approached the three victims and instructed one to get in the backseat of the vehicle, then sitting on either side. They instructed one of the other victims to drive the vehicle down I-75, to Jones’ home in Laurel County, according to prosecutors.

At Jones’ house, Collins and Medlin took the victims to a home behind Jones’ house, where they tied and bound one victim. Collins, Fredrick, Jones, and Medlin all took turns physically assaulting the victim, breaking his jaw and hanging a metal logging chain around his neck; Collins then admitted to using pliers to pull several of his teeth.  They also forced the victim to ingest the meth that he had brought to sell, according to investigators.

The four defendants told the victims that, if they went to the police or told anyone about what had happened, they would kill them, according to court documents.

Fredrick pleaded guilty in March 2019. Collins and Medlin pleaded guilty in July 2019.  Jones pleaded guilty in August 2019. Fredrick is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14, 2020, and Collins is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12, 2020, according to court documents.

Under federal law, the defendants must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for five years.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.