A southwest Missouri woman is facing seven felony counts accusing her of offering to give two Joplin men a car in exchange for helping her kidnap her 1-year-old daughter from the girl’s father.
Elise D. Deboutez, 27, of Nevada, Mo., was bound over for trial at a preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court on Thursday on single counts of attempted child kidnapping and burglary, two counts of first-degree assault and three counts of armed criminal action.
The charges stem from a failed attempt on Oct. 19 to snatch the woman’s daughter from the girl’s father, Christopher “Chad” Hamilton, 38, of Joplin.
Hamilton had been awarded emergency temporary custody of the girl by a family court in August.
Deboutez recruited Ron King, 21, and Tayvon Smith, 22, at a party about a week before the kidnapping attempt, Joplin Police Detective Chip Root said. Smith and King previously were bound over for trial on the same seven counts as Deboutez.
The woman admitted offering to give the two men an Audi she owned that was worth an estimated $5,000 to $7,000 if they would help her get her daughter back, Root said.
Investigators said in a probable cause statement that Deboutez is believed to have accompanied King and Smith to Hamilton’s home, where she waited in a car parked nearby while the men broke into the residence armed with guns.
At Smith’s preliminary hearing in January, Hamilton testified that he and his daughter were in a bedroom when the intruders broke in. He had been warned by others that the mother was trying to find someone to kill him because she wanted to get the girl back, Hamilton said.
Sensing that the intrusion was related to that threat, Hamilton said he slammed the bedroom door shut and grabbed his gun. He testified that he heard two shots but never fired his weapon.
Police said they believe the intruders fired two rounds into the bedroom before fleeing, but both bullets wound up in closets and didn’t strike anyone.
After the men were arrested, King told detectives that Smith had fire the shots, according to the probable cause statement.
A message left for Deboutez’s public defender Saturday was not immediately returned. She is scheduled to make an initial court appearance March 17.