Hearing set for kidnapping suspect
By By Dwayne Bremer
Dec 25, 2013, 14:40
Kidnapping and attempted murder suspect James H. Smith will have a preliminary hearing in Hancock County Justice Court on Jan. 12, officials said Monday.
Smith, 41, was arrested last week after he allegedly kidnapped two young boys in Pearl River County; drove them to a trailer in Leetown; sexually molested one of the children; and slit the other's throat.
He was charged with two counts of kidnapping, attempted murder, sexual battery; and resisting arrest.
His bond was set at $3.5 million.
The child who was cut, had surgery on Thursday and he is currently listed in stable condition, officials said.
The children had been staying in Derby with a woman who police described as a "care taker."
The children's natural mother is in jail and Smith was a friend or relative of the care taker, officials said.
Smith has a substantial criminal history and he was on house arrest at the time of last week's abduction.
In February, Smith was sentenced to five years in jail and 15 years probation for a violation of the RICO Act.
He completed the state's alcohol and drug treatment program and was placed on house arrest in July.
He was required to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet, which he removed during his attempt to flee from officers last Thursday evening.
The ankle bracelet was reportedly found in the woods near the trailer in Leetown.
If convicted, Smith faces a possible sentence of life in prison.
It is unclear if he has retained an attorney.
The preliminary hearing in January will determine if there is enough evidence to present the case to the grand jury.