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Man involved in Thorsby kidnapping sentenced to 20 years in prison

One of the men involved in a 2013 Easter Sunday kidnapping incident in Thorsby was sentenced to 20 years in prison for robbery in the second degree on Oct. 14.

Panagiotis Jerome Theodoroy, 34, of Moulton stood before Chilton County Judge Ben A. Fuller Oct. 14 wearing a green jail jumpsuit with chains around his wrists and ankles as Fuller read his sentence.

“This was a horrendous offense,” Fuller told Theodoroy. “Not only was it horrendous, but it was an offense committed on Easter Sunday. I wish I could sentence you to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Then I would be satisfied that justice has been served.”

The case took an interesting turn on Dec. 10, 2014, when Theodoroy and Scotty Ray Smith, 35, of Moulton, who was also involved in the kidnapping, were to be sentenced after both entered guilty pleas in October 2014 to charges of robbery in the second degree.

In exchange for the guilty pleas to an amended charge of robbery in the second degree, prosecutors agreed to dismiss four counts, including three counts of kidnapping in the second degree and one count of robbery in the first degree for both Smith and Theodoroy.

After hearing Donna Henderson, one of the victims involved in the case, testify during the 2014 sentencing, Fuller rejected the plea agreement and re-instated the original charges listed on the indictment filed by a February 2014 grand jury in Chilton County.

Fuller also increased the bond for both men to the original amount of $540,000 each, according to court records.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ordered Fuller to reinstate the robbery conviction for Theodoroy and to sentence Theodoroy on that conviction.

Presiding Judge Mary Becker Windom signed the order June 24, instructing Fuller to “reinstate” the robbery in the second degree charge, according to court records.

A writ of mandamus (a court order telling a government official to do something) was filed on behalf of Theodoroy with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals regarding the case.

Fuller sentenced Theodoroy to 20 years in prison, with credit for time previously served.

Smith withdrew his original guilty plea, and pleaded guilty to one count of robbery first degree and one count of kidnapping second degree with a sentence of 15 years on each charge.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced May 11, 2016, and will remain free on bond.

Jonathan Bryant Fuller, 44, of Moulton is scheduled to have a jury trial in April 2016, according to court records.

In July, authorities arrested Fuller in connection with the kidnapping incident.

Fuller was charged with criminal solicitation and first-degree robbery, according to court records.

Fuller allegedly “solicited, requested, commanded or importuned” Theodoroy and Smith to “engage in conduct constituting the crime of robbery in the first degree,” the warran for Fuller’s arrest states.

Fuller allegedly did not physically participate in the crime but gave Theodoroy and Smith the idea and helped them plan the robbery.

Fuller previously ran for a seat on the Lawrence County Commissioner in 2006 and then ran for Moulton mayor in 2012.

Fuller lost both races. He owns Fuller Automotive in Moulton.

Henderson spoke in court Dec. 10, 2014, about stopping by Dunlap’s home with her husband, Tim, to check on the elderly man who was terminally ill with cancer.

The visit happened during the robbery, she testified.

The three victims were then held at gunpoint with the two men tied up, and Donna Henderson was forced to go to her home on Jones Street to give the men money.

She was later dropped off in a rural area of Calera.

Henderson was able to return to Dunlap’s home and locate both Tim Henderson and Dunlap, who had not been seriously injured.

Dunlap passed away several weeks later, after the crime occurred.

District Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit Randall Houston said the case has been unique, and taken many turns.

“This was a horrible crime on a defenseless elderly person and his caretaker,” Houston said. “I can’t imagine what went through their minds while a gun was pointed at them, but I hope it eases the mind of the public that Theodoroy was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Smith has pleaded guilty to 15 years on robbery and 15 years on kidnapping.”

Houston could not comment on Fuller’s case because it is still pending.