Court appoints attorney for man in kidnapping case

Published 1:39 pm Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Carter County judge appointed an attorney to represent an Elizabethton man facing kidnapping and multiple other charges during a court appearance on Friday.

Coby Lee Wilson, 26, of Elizabethton, appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Friday morning for arraignment. He faces charges of kidnapping, theft of a motor vehicle over $10,000, eight counts of identity theft, five counts of fraudulent use of a credit/debit card, three counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, one count of theft from a motor vehicle, two counts of failure to appear, and violation of probation.

Wilson filled out an affidavit of indigency and requested a court-appointed attorney. Judge Keith Bowers reviewed the application, and after asking Wilson questions regarding the affidavit appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent him.

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Assistant Public Defender Dwayne Fortner met with Wilson briefly before calling the case back up before Bowers. Fortner informed the court Wilson was waiving his right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days and he asked the court to schedule another appearance to allow time for the Public Defender’s Office to review the charges against Wilson.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Hill asked Bowers to set the case for a date when Elizabethton Police Department Inv. Joe Harrah would be available.

“He has the most serious charge,” Hill noted, referring to the kidnapping charge Wilson faces.

The kidnapping and theft of a motor vehicle over $10,000 charges stem from an investigation by the Elizabethton Police Department after a woman called 911 on April 7 and told dispatchers someone had stolen her SUV while her child was asleep inside it. The woman’s SUV was located a short time later by deputies with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office who found it abandoned near the Dollar General Store on Highway 19E in Bluff City. The child was still inside the vehicle when it was found and according to police was unharmed.

During the investigation, officers developed Wilson as a suspect in the theft of the vehicle and kidnapping of the child who was asleep inside. According to court documents, video footage recovered from a security camera at a convenience store shows Wilson was driving the vehicle.

Wilson was captured by federal agents with the U.S. Marshal Service in Wytheville, Virginia days after the kidnapping. He was held in Virginia until extradition proceedings could be completed. He was booked into the Carter County Detention Center on Wednesday.

In addition to the charges Wilson currently faces in Criminal Court, he also has several charges pending in Carter County Criminal Court, including theft over $1,000, theft under $1,000, two counts of auto burglary, fourth offense driving on a revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident, and two counts of failure to appear.