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Second Whitley County man sentenced to life in prison for violent kidnappings

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Posted at 1:18 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 13:18:02-04

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A second man from Whitley County was sentenced to life in prison.

Jake Messer, 39, of Rockholds, Kentucky, was sentenced to life in federal prison on Tuesday. Messer was convicted in February 2022 for two counts of kidnapping.

According to trial evidence, Messer and his co-conspirators lost $10,000 in an unsuccessful drug deal. Jake Messer was the one who organized and recruited assistance for the kidnappings. Messer had the victims transported to Clay County, where they were interrogated, threatened, and assaulted.

Both Jake Messer and his father also sexually assaulted one of the victims.

The victims escaped after a family member spotted them in a ditch on the side of the road with Messer. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and KSP recovered 15 firearms from the Messer residence.