A Salt Lake City man was arrested for child kidnapping after he carjacked a car with a young child still in the back seat.
Theft of an occupied vehicle
29 year old Derek Orr was arrested after taking a woman out of her minivan and driving off with a four year old girl in the backseat. Orr waited until the woman had stopped in traffic and then approached her, demanding she give him her vehicle. He then opened her door and took her out forcefully, got in, then drove away. As the woman stood in the middle of a busy road yelling for help, she alerted other drivers that her daughter was in the stolen vehicle. Meanwhile Orr, who was under the influence of drugs, discovered that he wasn’t alone in the minivan and dropped the young child off at a business a few blocks away. The child was frightened but unharmed. Orr was later located and after a few hour standoff with law enforcement was apprehended. He now faces multiple charges including aggravated robbery and child kidnapping.
According to Utah Code 76-5-301.1, “An actor commits child kidnapping if the actor intentionally or knowingly, without authority of law, and by any means and in any manner, seizes, confines, detains, or transports a child under the age of 14 without the consent of the victim’s parent or guardian, or the consent of a person acting in loco parentis.” Child kidnapping is a first degree felony, punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Piling on the charges
Although Orr purposefully carjacked the vehicle, it does not appear he intentionally or knowingly (at first) committed child kidnapping. Had that been his intent he would not have safely left the child somewhere for her mom or the authorities to locate her. While Orr may need to be punished for the crimes he committed, adding on additional charges to someone who made poor choices while high on drugs is just adding to the growing number of addicts already behind bars. Orr is currently being held on two misdemeanor charges along with eight felony charges including the first degree felony for child kidnapping. Anyone facing criminal charges should seek legal counsel, especially when the charges start to pile up unfairly. An experienced attorney can help defend all charges, including those that shouldn’t have been added in the first place.