CHRISTMAS LIGHT PRANKSTER IN COURT
by Shannon Longneck
Raymond and Silver Gold, Irene Dunbar, Kathy Mavis and Ponce and Evelyn La Rue entered guilty pleas today. The twenty-two count indictment, which included three charges of abduction and assault, reflected the bizarre crimes that took place across New Grace County on December 10th which left the victims tied naked with Christmas lights to a sleigh in a homeowner’s Christmas display.
Brother and sister Silver and Raymond Gold were arrested on December 12, 2015 for the abduction of Andrew Palmer from his car dealership in Beaudeclaire after forensic evidence linked to Ms. Silver. Although they refused to name their co-conspirators while they awaited their bond hearing, after bond was denied they quickly gave up their names. Best friends Irene Dunbar and Kathy Mavis snatched Duncan Cobair and his two dogs, Lacy and Thor, during their nightly walk in the peaceful neighborhood of The Highlands in Acadia. Husband and wife Ponce and Evelyn LaRue took Belinda Prescott from her job at Cole Distributors in Lindley. The Gold’s co-conspirators were arrested on December 15th.
The six culprits, friends since high school, met for drinks on December 8th at The Castaways where they hatched the plan which landed them before the court. Intoxicated reminiscing found them discussing people who broke their hearts and/or did them wrong: Belinda Prescott stood Ponce LaRue up for the junior prom, Andrew Palmer supposedly copied off of Silver Gold and when caught claimed it was the other way around getting her suspended and Duncan Cobair was an equal opportunity bully (a fact confirmed by both an unnamed police officer and a deputy sheriff). Shots of tequila fueled their need for revenge.
“I can see coming up with this plan when they were drunk,” said Detective Malcolm Corley. “But in the two days between planning and execution, you would think that one of them would be smart enough to realize this was a stupid idea.”
After allocution, Judge Probyn Thompson said, “I think you should consider yourself very lucky that the prosecution is offering you any deal at all. What you did to these people is appalling. And then, as if being assaulted and abducted wasn’t enough, you went and posted the video on LookAtMe .com and identified them by name as if you were doing nothing more than posting a snapshot of an outing with friends on your facebook account. The fact that you thought this was funny or that your actions were something to be proud of, combined with how many people viewed it as entertainment and commented positively, leaves me fearful for our society in general. I have agreed to this plea, but I want you to know the thought that one day the prison gates will open and you will be allowed back out, loose, in society, frightens me. ”
The six defendants each face up to thirty years in prison. “Entering a plea saved them from serving what would amount to a life sentence,” said Craig LaPorte. “Each duo clearly conspired in the abductions and assault committed by the others. Had they not taken pleas to the abduction they physically committed, upon conviction, I would certainly have argued for consecutive sentences -thirty years times three, they would never walk free again.”
In response to the Judge’s comments, Detective Winston Spaulding said, “I completely agree. This is a sad commentary on what our society is coming to. Not only did they plan the crime, they knew all along that they were going to post it on the internet. Even though LookAtMe .com took the video down immediately, several people had copied it and reposted it. And even when they were entering the courtroom today, knowing they would be going to prison, I heard Silver Gold ask someone if she knew how many hits the video had gotten.”