Georgia man held on kidnap charge

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BRATTLEBORO — A Georgia man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he kidnapped a homeless Massachusetts man and forced him to cash a fraudulent check at a Brattleboro bank Thursday afternoon.

Brashard De'Anthony Termaine Jeanes, 22, was ordered held for lack of bail by Windham Superior Court Judge Michael Kainen.

Jeanes was identified as one of three men who were involved in a complicated plot that started with a 27-year-old homeless man in Springfield, Mass., and ended at a bank on Canal Street. When bank officials realized the check was a fake, and confronted the homeless man, the man confessed to the scam and bank officials called police.

The fake check was from a non-existent car dealership in Berlin, and was made out for $2,793.

The homeless man, who went into the bank Thursday to cash the fraudulent check, told bank tellers he was being forced by two other men to cash the check, and he asked for help.

Bank officials called the Brattleboro Police Department. When they responded, the other men, who were waiting outside the bank in a Kia with Alabama plates, took off.

Police chased the Kia briefly, but stopped the chase after the car failed to stop. The car was later found in Massachusetts, and the occupant, who had crashed the car, had fled.

A second car, with Nebraska plates, was stopped in Guilford, and Jeanes and a second man were inside, police said.

The second man, also from Georgia, was not charged Friday with a crime.

According to court records, Jeanes faces charges in Washington County, Tenn., for three counts of forgery, theft, and "criminal simulation." Police said the Tennessee case "is extremely similar to the events of this incident."

Both Jeanes and the second man denied being involved in the fraudulent check-cashing scheme, or the kidnapping. They claimed they that had been hanging out in Lawrence, Mass., and went for a drive, but ended up in Guilford.

The alleged victim, who was described in court affidavits as a homeless man, said he met the three men only two days earlier, when they offered to give him money, buy him drugs and new clothes, if he would help them cash a check with his identification.

The man said Jeanes, along with the two other men, offered him a job but said they needed his license and Social Security card, which they took. They later took him to the Walmart in Chicopee, Mass., where they bought him new clothes, and then they went to the Motel 6 in Chicopee, where they gave him cash to rent a room.

The alleged victim told police that he used heroin and cocaine with Jeanes and a second man, and that a third man joined them.

The next day, the three men and the alleged victim went to Holyoke, Mass., and bought drugs, with the money for the drugs coming from Jeanes and the others.

At one point while they were back in Chicopee, one of the men got out of the car for about 30 minutes, and the alleged victim told police he believes that is when they got the counterfeit checks, which had his name, spelled incorrectly, stamped on them.

The alleged victim told police that Jeanes and the other man coached him on how to cash the check, using his real identification, and they first tried the scam at a small bank on the way to Brattleboro.

He told police he was afraid of Jeanes and the other men, and didn't attempt to escape from them because they had his belongings and identification.

When they got to the bank in Brattleboro, Jeanes told the alleged victim he had 15 minutes to cash the check, or they would leave with his things.

"(He) stated that the entire time he was in fear for his safety from the individuals. he did not know if they had weapons, and they were intimidating him the entire time," Brattleboro Police wrote in their affidavit.

The two other men are also believed to be from Georgia, and at least one is facing charges in Massachusetts for the kidnapping, Brattleboro police said.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or 802 254-2311, ext. 154.

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