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Federal panel denies appeal in kidnapping case

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 23, 2013 at 7:24 a.m.

— A federal appeals panel has denied the appeal of Athena Marie Byrd.

Byrd pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping. She was sentenced to a little more than 21 years in prison for her role in the kidnapping of an Arkansas man who was taken to a Mississippi casino to cash a $2,000 ransom check.

Byrd had claimed a Mississippi judge should have considered her cooperation with the government, her drug addiction and lack of guidance as a youth to give her a lesser sentence.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Tuesday that Byrd’s sentence was reasonable.

Authorities say the victim ruined his abductors’ plans by screaming for help in the Isle of Capri, a Mississippi casino with security guards and surveillance cameras. The abductors ran.

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