Oceanside man admits kidnap

Was on probation for four other cases, at the time of the new crime

Gregory Leon Spatcher, 31, made a plea deal in which he admitted felony kidnap, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse, yesterday.

When the judge asked the defendant if he did seize and confine and kidnap another person, Spatcher replied, “Yes, I did. Um, guilty.”

Spatcher expects to get 3 years in prison, when he is sentenced at his next court appearance, February 22.

The defendant was out on probation when he held a man at knifepoint and demanded ransom, from that man's employer, according to testimony at previous court hearings.

According to evidence at a preliminary hearing last summer, a ransom of one-thousand-dollars cash plus a car was paid. The ransom was demanded of a man who owned an Oceanside car-repair place, and that man said he arranged the pay-off. The hostage was released the same day, August 20, 2012.

In the plea deal, Spatcher admitted “simple kidnap,” not extortion, according to Judge Aaron Katz. The judge told the defendant that he could get life in prison for the more serious charge of kidnap-for-financial-gain. Other felony charges were dropped in the plea deal. The admitted “simple kidnap” is a “strike” offense.

The expected, three-year-prison-term will run concurrent with time due for violation of Spatcher’s four other probation cases, according to Judge Katz.

Prosecutor Geoff Allard signed off on the deal yesterday afternoon, January 23, 2013. The defendant is expected to be formally sentenced to prison next month, on February 22.

Gregrory Leon Spatcher, 31. Photo Weatherston.

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So he held a knife to someone's throat and threatened to cut it if he did not get $1,000 plus a car while he is out on probation from other charges...and is permitted to plea to "simple kidnapping" and not have the charge of extortion added? Did the DA really think there was some doubt about the request for money and a car? Maybe the guy who delivered the money was an unreliable witness? Doubt that this was "for financial gain"? Excuse me?

He got off VERY lightly. And he's bad, bad, bad. We'll see/read/hear about him again, that is unless he leaves the area when he gets out of the joint, or gets shanked in prison. Oh, this is a strike. Were any of those other, previous offenses strikes? The fact that he didn't already have two strikes is remarkable. Something wrong here.

I agree with Javajoe and Is. This was a VIOLENT crime that could have resulted in death, easily, and he only get a 3 year sentence??? And the 4 probation violations run concurrent!!!!!! His public defender spanked the prosecutors, and the judge should NOT have signed off on a deal that light. The 4 probation violations alone should have been worth 1-2 years , alone, and the violent kidnapping 5-10. No good time custody credit either.

NEW crimes while ON Probation should require an enhanced sentence.

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