Man who kidnapped, threatened to kill ex-girlfriend is convicted
An Oxnard man accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend, driving her to Mexico and threatening to dump her body in Tijuana was convicted Monday on kidnapping charges, authorities said.
A federal jury found Rudy Soto, 25, guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping, the U.S. attorney's office said. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Soto and co-defendant Erin Fisher, 22, of Santa Paula, were indicted by a grand jury in October 2010 for conspiring to kidnap Soto's ex-girlfriend in September 2010, officials said.
Soto contacted the woman Sept. 14 of that year and said he had a surprise for her, prosecutors said. When he went to her home near downtown Los Angeles, she refused to go with him and told him their relationship was over, prompting an argument.
At one point, Soto threw the woman into a pickup waiting nearby, prosecutors said. He restrained the woman, they said, as Fisher drove the truck to Mexico.
During the drive, prosecutors said, Soto held a knife to the woman's throat and said he was going to kill her. He also called the woman's brother-in-law and told him he would dump her body in Tijuana.
Mexican authorities stopped the truck at the Otay Mesa checkpoint, where the woman was able to scream for help, prosecutors said. After the woman told authorities what happened, Soto and Fisher were taken into custody.
Soto is scheduled to be sentenced in December. Fisher, who was prosecuted separately, will participate in a court-ordered diversion program, officials said.
-- Kate Mather