The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

February 27, 2014

Detective: Car offered as payment in kidnapping plot

— A judge found probable cause Thursday for a Nevada, Mo., woman to stand trial on charges that she promised to give two Joplin men a car if they helped her snatch her 1-year-old daughter from the custody of the girl’s father at gunpoint.

The Jasper County prosecutor’s office filed five new felony counts against Elise D. Deboutez, 27, at a preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin.

With the conclusion of testimony at the hearing, Associate Judge Richard Copeland ordered Deboutez bound over for trial on single counts of attempted child kidnapping and burglary, two counts of first-degree assault, and three counts of armed criminal action.

The charges stem from a thwarted attempt the night of Oct. 19 to pluck her daughter from the care and custody of the child’s father, Christopher “Chad” Hamilton, 38, of Joplin.

Police Detective Chip Root testified that Deboutez recruited Ron N. King, 21, and Tayvon D. Smith, 22, at a party about a week before the kidnapping attempt. Root said Deboutez admitted offering to give them an Audi she owned — worth an estimated $5,000 to $7,000 — if they would help her get her daughter back. Hamilton had been awarded emergency temporary custody of the girl by a family court in August.

Deboutez is believed to have accompanied King and Smith to Hamilton’s home on West Fifth Street the night in question, according to a probable-cause affidavit. She reportedly waited in a car parked nearby while they broke into the residence armed with guns.

Hamilton testified at Smith’s preliminary hearing in January that he and his daughter were in a bedroom when the intruders broke in. He testified that he had been told by others that the mother was trying to find someone to kill him because she wanted her daughter back. He figured the intrusion was related to that, slammed the bedroom door shut and grabbed his gun, he told the court.

Hamilton testified that he heard two shots but never fired his own weapon.

Police believe the intruders fired two rounds into the bedroom before fleeing the residence. Neither bullet struck anyone, and both wound up in closets.

The suspects eventually were identified and arrested, and King told detectives that Smith fired the shots. King allegedly admitted attempting to shoot into the bedroom himself but said his gun failed to fire.

Smith and King were bound over for trial previously on the same seven counts as Deboutez. She had been facing just single counts of burglary and armed criminal action before Thursday’s hearing.

The judge ordered that Deboutez make an initial appearance March 17 in a trial division of the court.



Previous interference

ELISE DEBOUTEZ was charged in August of last year with misdemeanor interference with custody, two months before she allegedly recruited two men to kidnap her daughter. In the previous incident, she was visiting the girl at the home of the father and reportedly left with her in violation of a court order.

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