Accuser recants, trucker freed

9:45 am | December 23, 2013
Tonya Lee Hicks

Tonya Lee Hicks recanted her accusation that a Virginia man, Clinton Lee Endicott, had kidnapped her and took her to Kansas. She is in custody in Carter County on violation of probation charges and could face additional charges of filing a false report to federal officers.

A Virginia man accused of kidnapping a Carter County woman has been freed from jail in Kansas after authorities say she recanted her accusation.

On Dec. 4, Clinton Lee Endicott, 44, of Marion, Va., was released from the Ellsworth County Jail after being incarcerated there for more than 30 days.

According to a press release from Ellsworth County Attorney Joe Shepack, Endicott’s accuser, Tonya Lee Hicks, 27, Hampton, recanted those accusations when FBI agents interviewed her after she returned to Tennessee. That recantation, Shepack said, ceased all prosecutorial measures that had been lodged against Endicott.

“The FBI agent reported the recantation to the prosecutors involved in the case – all chose to not pursue or continue in the criminal prosecution of Mr. Endicott,” Shepack said in the release. “Word of the recantation only reached the Ellsworth County attorney’s office on the afternoon of Dec. 4, 2013, and Endicott was released upon the oral directive of the Ellsworth County attorney that same afternoon.”

In addition to the kidnapping charge he faced in Ellsworth County, Endicott was also facing potential federal charges after Hicks alleged he transported her across state lines against her will. News of Hicks’ recantation arrived exactly one week before his case was scheduled to be heard in U.S. District Court in Topeka, Kan.

According to Ellsworth County Sheriff Tracy Ploutz, Endicott spent the time from his arrest on Nov. 2 to the time of his release on Dec. 4 in the custody of his jail. During that time, Ploutz said Endicott did not present him or his staff with problems.

“He wasn’t what you would consider (to be) any trouble,” Ploutz said.

Endicott was arrested on Nov. 2 after Hicks told authorities he kidnapped her and held her captive in the back of his tractor-trailer. In an interview with Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes on Nov. 22, Hicks said she had been visiting a friend in Greene County, but that they had a disagreement and she needed a ride home. Eventually, she met Endicott, who she said agreed to give her a ride home.

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