Michigan

Wisconsin fugitive convicted of kidnapping Michigan student

A woman captured last year while living under an alias in Wisconsin was convicted Wednesday of kidnapping a Detroit-area college student in 2000.

Kim Johns was accused of kidnapping her former lover at gunpoint and taking her on an eight-day journey to Illinois and Iowa. The government alleged that Johns was upset because the 19-year-old woman was ending their relationship.

Johns, now 47, was found guilty of kidnapping and other crimes in U.S. District Court in Detroit. She faces a long prison sentence on Aug. 17: There's a mandatory minimum of seven years just for using a gun.

There's no dispute that Johns and the victim, a student at University of Detroit Mercy, had been in a romantic relationship. Defense attorneys argued that the woman took off with Johns in May 2000 because she wanted to help her during a shaky time and didn't want her parents to know about the relationship.

They were star-crossed lovers "from different sides of the track," defense lawyer Dana Nessel told jurors.

They stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants and watched movies before the Allen Park woman drove away while Johns was in an Illinois hotel. Nessel noted that the woman never called 911 during the eight days.

"We certainly understand the way the jury came to its verdict. We wish they could have seen it the way we saw it," co-counsel Christopher Kessel said outside court.

Johns was awaiting trial in 2000 when she escaped from a halfway house in Indiana. She was captured a year ago living under a different name, Kim McGuire, in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

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