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KCSO arrests man for faking own kidnapping

Posted: November 18, 2011 5:07 p.m.
Updated: November 21, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) arrested a 30-year-old man early Friday morning on extortion charges after faking his kidnapping Thursday. Sheriff Jim Matthews said Christopher List Hutto, 30, of Upper Pond Road, Elgin, faked the kidnapping in order to extort money from his mother in order to buy crack cocaine.

According to a KCSO report, Hutto’s mother called deputies saying she had received text messages from her son’s cell phone from someone demanding money and threatening to hurt or kill her son. She told deputies she had seen had last seen her son around 5 p.m. Thursday at chicken restaurant in Elgin. She said her son claimed he had received some information about a laptop that had been stolen from her home several weeks earlier and was going to try to recover it.

In a statement released to the press Friday afternoon, Matthews said Hutto’s mother contacted deputies Thursday evening. He said the text messages indicated Hutto had been badly beaten, was near death and been dropped off in the woods at an unknown location. The unidentified person demanded $100 to disclose the location of Hutto’s body. Matthews said the woman replied that she didn’t have that much money and negotiated a price of $60 for the information.

In the press release, Matthews said investigators set up a drop side for the money and surrounded the location. He said deputies surrounded the location and then saw Hutto running from the drop site. They captured him following a short foot chase by KCSO and Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) deputies. Investigators then determined, Matthews said, that Hutto had orchestrated the entire incident so he could get money with which to buy crack cocaine.

“Christopher Hutto’s addiction to crack cocaine drove him to fake his own kidnapping,” Matthews said. “The KCSO, RCSD and S.C. Law Enforcement Division expended numerous man-hours and resources, at taxpayers’ expense, to facilitate the safe return of this man only to find out that he faked this whole thing to buy drugs.”

Matthews said Hutto is being detained at the Kershaw County Detention Center. According to Matthews, extortion is a Class E felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $,5000 fine or both.

According to online documents, Hutto recently completed a period of probation. He pled guilty this March to an harassment charge dating back to June 2009. A judge sentenced Hutto to one year in prison, suspended on six months probation. Hutto has a lengthy record of both minor criminal and traffic offenses.

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