July 25th, 2024

Haitian gang leader charged with ordering kidnapping of US couple that left woman dead

By Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press on October 24, 2023.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A powerful Haitian gang leader has been charged by U.S. prosecutors with ordering the kidnapping of an American couple that left a woman dead, authorities said Tuesday.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia announced a new indictment against Vitel’homme Innocent, the leader of the Kraze Barye gang, in connection with the Oct. 2022 kidnapping in Haiti of Jean Franklin and Marie Odette Franklin. Marie Franklin was shot and killed in the kidnapping. Her husband, Jean, was held for 21 days.

Authorities are offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to his arrest. He was previously charged in connection to the 2021 kidnappings of Christian missionaries.

He has been charged with conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death, aiding and abetting hostage taking and attempted hostage taking resulting in death by the U.S. Justice Department.

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