BRATTLEBORO -- In May 2013, authorities linked Marcus Koritz and Jacobina Carter to a kidnapping incident in Brattleboro.
Now, however, those two cases have resolved in very different ways: Koritz has pleaded guilty and will spend four to 12 years in prison, while the sole charge filed against Carter has been dismissed.
Windham County Deputy State's Attorney Steven Brown said Koritz received an appropriate sentence "given his role in the kidnapping, given his record, given his age."
Carter, on the other hand, is "relieved" that criminal charges are no longer hanging over her, defense attorney Dan Sedon said.
"I don't think she had any knowledge of the criminal activity" in this case, Sedon said.
Brattleboro police arrested Koritz, 20, and Carter, 39, both of Brattleboro; James Manning, 30, of Jersey City, N.J.; and Salahdin Trowell, 30, of Brattleboro; in connection with the May 23, 2013, kidnapping of two women from Brattleboro Transportation Center's Flat Street entrance.
The victims were forced into a Cadillac Escalade driven by Carter. Police said Trowell ordered the abduction in an attempt to find a man who owed him a drug debt.
Shortly after the abduction, Koritz, Manning and Carter were arrested when the Escalade was stopped on Western Avenue. The two victims, who had been sending text messages and calling 911, were unharmed.
Trowell was arrested later that day when police found him hiding under a bed in a Canal Street apartment.
Manning's case was the first to resolve: In December, he pleaded guilty to aiding in the commission of a felony and unlawful trespass and was freed from prison. Manning is on probation and was called as a prosecution witness in Trowell's trial, which began in late February in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division.
On March 1, after deliberating for more than 11 hours, a jury convicted Trowell of kidnapping as well as assault and robbery. Trowell's sentencing is pending; he faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment on the kidnapping charge and 10 years in jail on the assault and robbery count.
The Trowell verdict paved the way for Koritz's plea last week, after which he was immediately sentenced.
"I think it certainly didn't hurt the state's case (against Koritz) that we had a conviction (in the Trowell case)," Brown said.
Koritz pleaded guilty to aiding in the commission of a felony (kidnapping), burglary and unlawful mischief. The latter two counts stem from an incident at a Western Avenue apartment that occurred while the two kidnapping victims were still in Carter's SUV.
Carter had been charged with aiding in the commission of a felony, but that charge now has been dismissed.
Brown had no comment on the dismissal. Sedon, though, said his client acted only as a driver in a case that otherwise did not involve her.
"By all appearances, someone definitely called her for a ride," Sedon said. "She showed up and provided that ride. But really, she had no idea what was going on."
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.