A Junction City man who took part in a woman’s kidnapping that led to her murder was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a press release from his office.
Christopher Pugh, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping. In his plea, he admitted participating in the kidnapping of Amanda Clemons, a 24-year-old woman whose body was found in February 2014 in Geary County.
In his plea, Pugh admitted that on Feb. 7, 2014, he was one of the defendants who met the victim, who was a prostitute, at a hotel in Junction City and kidnapped her. The defendants beat the victim in retribution for comments she had made on social media. During the beating, the defendants demanded the victim pay $300. They took the victim to another hotel room in an unsuccessful attempt to get the money, after which they transported her to a residence on Fort Riley where two of the defendants lived.
While at the residence, the defendants allowed the victim to call her young son and her mother. The victim’s mother realized the victim was in danger and called Junction City Police. When police called the victim’s number to check on her, the defendants listened to the call on speakerphone. At that time, Pugh left the house alone and did not take part in the murder.
Fearing that police were coming to arrest them, defendants Drexel Woody, Larry L. Andersonand Marryssa Middleton took the victim to a bridge in a remote part of Geary County. Once there, Anderson and Middleton resumed the beating and attacked the victim with a knife. The victim broke free and jumped off the bridge, falling 15 feet and breaking her ankle. Anderson and Middleton found the victim in the snow beneath the bridge and resumed the assault during which they cut her throat and killed her.
Co-defendants include Larry L. Anderson of Manhattan, who was sentenced to 28 years; Marryssa M. Middleton of Fort Riley, who was sentenced to 28 years; Drexel A. Woody, 27, of Fort Riley, who was sentenced to 16 years; and Shantrell D. Woody of Fort Riley, who is set for sentencing Nov. 20.
Beall commended the Junction City Police Department, the Grandview Plaza Police Department, the Geary County Sheriff’s Office, the Riley County Police Department, the Fort Riley Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag and Geary County Attorney Steven Opat for their work on the case.