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Gang members who kidnapped US sailors on vacation get 40-year sentences

Colton DeLaughter, left, and William Stockstill.

HARRISON COUNTY ADULT DETENTION CENTER

By ROBIN FITZGERALD | The Sun Herald (Tribune News Service) | Published: January 24, 2018

BILOXI, MS. — Two members of the Simon City Royals street gang will spend 25 full years in prison for kidnapping two Navy men at gunpoint in February.

Picayune residents Colton Delaughter, 27, and William Stockstill, 24, each received a 40-year prison term Monday in Harrison County Circuit Court. They both pleaded guilty on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery, District Attorney Joel Smith said.

Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson also ordered both men to serve 25 years without eligibility for early release, Smith said in a news release.

The two victims were stationed in Pensacola on Feb. 17 when they came to Biloxi for a vacation.

Delaughter and Stockstill have admitted they forced the two at gunpoint into their Chevrolet Cruz rental car as they were getting their luggage out of the vehicle at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino parking garage, Smith said. They took the victims' cellphones so they couldn't call for help.

Delaughter and Stockstill drove the men to a gas station in Pass Christian, forcing them to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Delaughter forced the two to buy snacks and drinks. One of the victims wrote "help me" and "gun" as he signed his name on his credit card receipt and handed it to the cashier, Smith said.

Delaughter and Stockstill became suspicious and made the two get back in the car quickly, he said. They drove the victims to Hollywood Gulf Coast Casino in Bay St. Louis, forcing them to withdraw more cash.

The men then left the victims on a roadside north of Interstate 10 in Hancock County. The victims flagged down a car so they could call the police.

The victims' recollection of the men's tattoos and Biloxi Police Detective Nick Sonnier's work, along with help from Pass Christian police, led to the men's identities.

The victims picked out the suspects from surveillance video and photo lineups, Smith said.

Both men were arrested the next day. Delaughter was picked up in Carriere. Stockstill was found in Richland.

Both also had a prior felony drug conviction and also faced trial on a carjacking charge connected to the kidnapping.

"These convictions are the result of the victims' ability to maintain their composure in this case, their ability to alert the gas station clerk and the hard work of the case detectives," Smith said.

"We will not tolerate violence to tourists or residents of the Mississippi Coast.

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(c)2018 The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)
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