MANSFIELD, Ohio - Visibly shaken in court before her abductor was sentenced to 25 years in prison, an Ohio woman who was kidnapped in March thanked the man for not killing her or her neighbors, whose house he also admitted breaking into during a nightlong crime spree.
Jennifer Hurst of Troy Township thanked family and officials for helping her after a March 13 abduction that started as she walked her dog. She also addressed Nathan Taylor, 29, the man prosecutors said eventually abandoned her hours later in a vehicle.
"I wanted to thank Nathan's family for the love that they have for you. ... I want to thank you for stepping back from all of the horrible things that were going on. ... For not killing me and for letting me go, I'm grateful," she said.
Taylor and another man, 23-year-old Tyrell Mallory, were accused of a home invasion and abduction that began in the home of Scott Taylor of Troy Township, about 35 miles north of Columbus, The Mansfield News Journal reported. Nathan Taylor is not related to Scott Taylor.
Prosecutors said Taylor and Mallory encountered Scott Taylor and his wife, JoAnn, as they prepared for bed, then beat and assaulted Scott Taylor. His wife, found in a closet dialing 911, was not harmed.
Prosecutors said the pair later abducted Hurst, the Taylors' neighbor, as she walked her dog. They entered her home and forced her into her car before Mallory got out. Taylor drove Hurst around and made purchases with her debit card, then eventually left Hurst in the parking lot of the Cleveland Browns Stadium, about 90 miles from Troy Township.
Taylor was later arrested in South Bend, Ind., and Mallory surrendered in Waukegan, Ill.
Richland County Common Pleas Judge James DeWeese sentenced Taylor on Tuesday on two counts of aggravated burglary, five counts of aggravated robbery and one count of kidnapping. He was also given a six-year mandatory sentence for two gun charges, and was ordered five years of parole after he completes his sentence. Taylor had changed his plea to guilty, avoiding a possible 88-year sentence, the newspaper reported.
During the hearing, Taylor turned to his victims and apologized.
"I'm terribly sorry. ... I know you guys may never forgive me. I only hope and pray you do, that you may find it in your hearts," he said.