DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 24, 2021
Carlton S. Shier IV
, United States Attorney
Contact: Gabrielle Dudgeon

Whitley County Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping

LONDON, Ky. — A Corbin, Kentucky, man, Douglas M. Edmonson, 38, pleaded guilty on Thursday, before U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier, to kidnapping.

According to the investigation and his guilty plea, Edmonson and his three co-defendants lured a victim to a location in Tennessee, using an unrelated party’s Facebook account. Edmonson and his co-defendants then forced the victim into a vehicle and transported her to Corbin. The victim was bound, blindfolded, and repeatedly assaulted during the 2-day kidnapping. The investigation revealed that Edmonson and his co-defendants employed firearms, as well as explosive devices during the kidnapping. On August 11, 2018, ATF agents were called to the kidnapping scene in Corbin, and assisted in locating and detonating several homemade pipe bombs.

Edmonson was indicted in September 2019. Edmonson’s co-defendants, Dallas Chain Perkins, Bryanna Soper, and Erik Peace, previously entered guilty pleas to kidnapping and are also awaiting sentencing.

“After being lured, restrained, and held for drugs or ransom, the victim in this case was threatened with firearms and homemade explosives, then brutally beaten, burned, and repeatedly assaulted,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “While nothing can make up for the unspeakable suffering the victim endured here, she knows that those who did this to her will now face the consequences of their appalling conduct. I want to commend the work of our law enforcements partners. Without their efforts, this result would not have been possible.”

“This defendant was an armed drug trafficker and part of a group that reigned terror and committed heinous acts of violence in our rural communities,” said ATF Special Agent In Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Field Division. “I commend the efforts of the ATF agents and our Kentucky State Police partners who worked diligently on this year-long investigation to help bring a sense of justice to the victim. I hope this case sends the message that ATF and our law enforcement partners will not standby and allow these acts of violence.”

The investigation was conducted by the ATF and KSP, with assistance provided by the Williamsburg Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna E. Reed.

Edmonson is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2022. All 4 defendants face a maximum of Life in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.

This case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. The PSN program involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Eastern District of Kentucky, Acting U.S. Attorney Shier coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Louisville Field Division