By Kelly Doran
A man was sentenced to five years in jail after forcing a 17-year-old to drive him around and give him money.
John Magevney, age 25, who was arrested at the end of January, was charged with kidnapping, two counts of abduction and one count of robbery.
The abduction and robbery counts were dropped and Magevney pleaded guilty to kidnapping, a felony of the second degree, on March 19, said Carol Rowe, assistant prosecutor. He went to sentencing on April 2.
Judge Jerry McBride sentenced Magevney to five years in prison with mandatory five-year post release control and no restitution.
Magevney understands now how serious his actions were, said Steve Haynes, assistant public defender. At the time, Magevney did not understand how the victim perceived his actions.
“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” Magevney said.
While no force or threat was used, Magevney understands that he seemed like a threat to the victim and that he crossed boundaries, Haynes told McBride.
“He does show genuine remorse,” Haynes said.
On Jan. 18, an Amelia police officer was called to the Kroger on Main Street in Amelia because John Magevney had forced his way into a 17-year-old’s car, said Interim Chief Jeff Wood in January.
Magevney told the juvenile to give him money and then forced the juvenile to drive to multiple ATMs and take out more money, Wood said. After about an hour, Magevney told the victim to drop him off at a residence on Hopper Hill Road.
The victim now has problems sleeping and is afraid of people, said Rowe.
“He was very aggressive and intimidating,” Rowe said. The state asked for a lengthy sentence, Rowe told McBride.
While Magevney has a history of non-compliance with the law, he is not a violent person, Haynes said.
Magevney has not had an easy life, Haynes said. His father introduced him to crack cocaine and his aunt introduced him to some things. Magevney needs to work on his drug addiction and his other issues while incarcerated, Haynes said.
“My addiction has taken me places I’ve never wanted to go before,” Magevney said.
This offense does not warrant a maximum sentence, Haynes said. Magevney is not likely to recommit.
In addition, Magevney did release the victim unharmed in a safe place, Haynes said. Four or five years is a long time, and would send a message to Magevney.
Magevney did not release the victim, Rowe countered. When Magevney got out of the car at one stop, the victim escaped.
Because the victim is a juvenile, that makes the offense more serious. While the victim was not harmed physically, he was harmed, McBride said.
McBride read a lengthy list of Magevney’s past offenses; include underage consumption of alcohol, assault, domestic violence, aggravated burglary and possession of heroin/cocaine.
Magevney has mental health issues but is not taking medication because he says he cannot afford them, McBride said. Prison officials have prescribed him medications.
While Magevney is known by businesses in the area because he goes and asks for money, he has never been this bad before, Rowe said.
Based on Magevney’s past, recidivism seems likely, McBride said.
The victim’s grandparents, Melvin and Sharon Eckert, attended the sentencing.
“I don’t think it was enough,” Melvin Eckert said of the sentencing, especially because of Magevney’s lengthy record and the impact this has had on their grandson.
Magevney has approached Sharon Eckert before for money, she said. While he has never tried to get into her car, she knows of other people he has done that to.
Sharon Eckert is concerned that next time Magevney commits an offense he will really hurt someone.