Delvin Barnes pleads not guilty to Carlesha Freeland-Gaither abduction charges

     (L-R) Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, Delvin Barnes. (Images courtesy of NBC10)

    (L-R) Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, Delvin Barnes. (Images courtesy of NBC10)

    Delvin Barnes, the 37-year-old man accused of violently abducting a woman off the street in Germantown on Nov. 2, pleaded not guilty to the charges during a brief hearing on Friday.

    Barnes also waived his right to seek bail during the two-minute hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacob P. Hart.

    The plea came despite a criminal complaint stating that Barnes confessed to the crimes after being arrested in Maryland less than three days after 22-year-old Carlesha Freeland-Gaithers’ abduction was captured by security cameras in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood.

    Sporting a dark-green prison jumpsuit with an orange T-shirt visible beneath, Barnes did not speak into the court microphone when he said the words “not guilty.”

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    Indicted on the federal kidnapping charges earlier this week (PDF), Barnes faces life behind bars if convicted. He will be held without bail pending trial.

    The back story

    Around 9:40 p.m. on Nov. 2, security cameras near the intersection of W. Coulter and Greene sts. in Germantown captured footage of a man forcing Freeland-Gaither into a car after dropping her eyeglasses and cell phone into the street and kicking out the driver-side rear window.

    That video drew national attention to Germantown’s Penn-Knox section over the subsquent days as local and national law-enforcement entities searched for Freeland-Gaither and her abductor.

    Among many investigative breaks for investigators was learning that Freeland-Gaither’s debit card was used at a stand-alone ATM in Aberdeen, Md. at 6:01 a.m. the next day. Surveillance footage from the ATM showed a male wearing dark clothing using her card.

    Three days after the abduction, Freeland-Gaither and the suspect were found in a Jessup, Md. parking lot. After being treated at an area hospital, Freeland-Gaither returned home following an emotional press conference announcing her rescue at the 35th Police District.

    Barnes was also wanted in connection with a brutal Oct. 1 kidnapping of a 16-year-old Richmond, Va. girl who “was allegedly picked up off the street and stuffed in the trunk of a car.”

    In 2005, Barnes was found guilty locally of aggravated assault, criminal trespass and, among other charges, false imprisonment, in a 2005 case involving his estranged wife.

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