Second person arraigned in Franklin kidnapping case

From staff reports

A second person has been arraigned on nearly a dozen conspiracy charges, including kidnapping and unlawful restraint, in connection with a January incident that started in Franklin and continued in Oil City.

Franklin city police identified Wesley Lott Huey, 26, of Oil City, as one of three men who abducted a man from Oak Hill Apartments in Franklin on Jan. 23 after threatening to harm his family.

A criminal complaint filed by Franklin police says Huey, Drake Shoemaker, 18, and Keith Harper, 46, went to the apartment of the man’s sister demanding to know where he was. They said the man stole a package from them, the complaint said.

Unable to gain information from the man’s sister, they proceeded to the man’s girlfriend’s apartment, and Huey and Shoemaker entered the home uninvited and found the man, the complaint said.

The man agreed to go with the suspects after they threatened to harm his family, and he was then pushed into the back seat of a car and recognized Keith Harper, Shoemaker’s father, as the driver, the complaint said.

The man told police that Harper brandished a knife and tapped him with with it while coercing the man to call his girlfriend and ask about a missing package, the complaint said.

Harper and Huey talked back and forth about “things getting crazy and people getting their throats cut,” the complaint said.

The man told police that Harper dropped him and Shoemaker off at the North Side Country Fair in Oil City after the suspects became aware that police were involved. The man said he was told to walk to the Oil City police station and provide a cover story, according to the complaint.

The man initially said he had been in a fight with his girlfriend and called Shoemaker to give him a ride away from the house. After being presented with other evidence, the man told police he had been threatened and abducted, the complaint said,

Huey was placed in the Venango County jail Sunday with a $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing for Huey is scheduled March 13 in Central Court.

Harper waived his preliminary hearing last week in Central Court and remains in the county jail.

Huey and Harper are facing the following conspiracy charges – kidnapping to inflict injury or terror, burglary, criminal trespass, riot, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, stalking, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, false imprisonment and coercing or threatening to commit a crime.

Most of the same charges have been filed against Shoemaker, but he hasn’t been arrested or arraigned yet, according to online court documents.