The man accused of kidnapping a Gastonia family had wanted them to take him to visit his mother in Tennessee, his sister said Wednesday.
Glenda Case Upton, 57, said her brother, Jerry Douglas Case, told her of his plans during a telephone conversation before he was shot by police this month.
Case, paroled in 2007 from a life sentence for murder, is accused of abducting the Gastonia family. Police shot him several times this month as they tried to capture him after the victims escaped.
As Case entered the courtroom Wednesday in a wheelchair, his mother and sister hugged and wept.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen, citing the violence of the crimes and the defendant's violent past, announced in court that the government will seek to have Case jailed without bond pending his trial. The detention hearing is scheduled for Monday.
Glenda Case Upton told reporters she doesn't condone what her brother is accused of doing. She expressed sympathy for the family members her brother is accused of kidnapping.
“He didn't intend to harm the family ...,” she said. “He's not a monster.”
Case told her he intended to return the family to Gastonia, she said, and then planned on disappearing.
“He was going to flee,” she said. “Go west.”
Upton said she didn't know what was going through her brother's mind.
“That wasn't him,” she said. “He was desperate for some reason.”
But Payne, 71, said it was a terrifying journey.
An FBI agent's affidavit says Case told Payne and his daughter that he'd spent more than 20 years in prison and threatened to kill them during their captivity if they didn't follow his instructions, according to the FBI agent's affidavit.
Each of the four kidnapping charges Case is facing carries a maximum punishment of life in prison. Two of the kidnapping charges are punishable by mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years in prison.