A Carthage man is accused of trying to entice a child into his vehicle less than a month after he pleaded guilty to two previous child sex crimes in Jasper County Circuit Court.
A Carthage man, accused of trying to entice a child into his vehicle less than a month after he told the court he intended to plead guilty to two child sex crimes in Jasper County Circuit Court, is being held without bond in the Jasper County Jail.
The Carthage Police Department, in a written release, said Mark Kennedy, 43, was arrested on Tuesday, June 6, after a witness reported that he was trying to entice a seven-year-old child into a van with candy.
Carthage Police Lt. Jeff Steffen said the incident was reported at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 10 block of Elm in Carthage.
“A friend watching the child stopped the child from going to the van,” Steffen said in the written release. “The incident was reported and Mark Kennedy was developed as a suspect.”
Kennedy was arrested at about 6 p.m. Tuesday and charged with two felonies, one of attempted child kidnapping and one of enticement or attempted enticement of a child.
Kennedy is currently being held in the Jasper County Jail without bond.
Online court records show that Kennedy announced at a hearing on May 9 his intention to plead guilty to two counts of statutory sodomy stemming from two seperate cases, one filed in 2014 and one filed in 2015.
The court record said Judge David Mouton did not accept the plea at that hearing and scheduled another hearing for July 31 to decide whether to accept it and maybe sentence him.
On Aug. 28, 2015, Carthage Police Lt. Steffen said at the time the two cases involve two different victims, one eight years old and the other 11 years old, who were neighbors of Kennedy at different times.
Both incidents happened in 2011.
The second case involved at least four seperate incidents with the same child who came forward in 2015.
“We requested a high bond on this most recent case because he was already out on bond and awaiting sentencing on these other two cases, which is certainly scary,” Fisher said.
Kennedy had been held on a cash bond of $25,000 and surety bond of $175,00 after the second charge was filed. Surety bond requires you post 10 percent of the bond to be released.
Kennedy was released on bond in November 2015 after Associate Circuit Judge Joseph Hensley denied his request to be released on his own recognizance.
The case was assigned to Judge David Mouton after a preliminary hearing found grounds to send the case to trial in December 2015. Mouton granted a motion to reduce Kennedy's bond in June 2016 and $8,000 was refunded to him.