Mary Jane Kimberly Lee Johns was found guilty on March 21, 2017 of kidnapping her former girlfriend, Laura Westphal, in May 2000.
According to a pre-trial ruling, Kim and Laura were in a romantic relationship from the summer of 1999 through April 2000. They lived in different states and used AOL instant messaging and e-mail to communicate.
Following their breakup, Kim appeared at Laura’s parent’s home in May 2000. When Laura returned to the home, the women departed on a drive to Iowa.
The prosecution allege Kim held Laura at gunpoint, forcing her to drive, and holding her hostage for eight days, threatened to kill Laura and would not let Laura out of her sight.
The defense say Kim did not kidnap Laura, saying that Laura left her home and traveled with Kim to avoid having her family discover her same-sex relationship and to ensure that Kim did not commit suicide.
Receipts were recovered showing they visited motels and shops, making it implausible that Kim could have held Laura at gunpoint for this length of time. The defense cite messages where Laura lied, was deceptive and concealed the same sex relationship.
Sentencing was set for August 17, 2017.