Wichita man sentenced in kidnapping case where teen was shocked with cables

Robert McDowell (Courtesy: Sedgwick Co. Jail)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita man was sentenced Wednesday in a kidnapping case where the teen victim was tortured.

Robert McDowell pled guilty to one count of aggravated kidnapping and criminal threat in December of 2016. It stems from a 2015 case where McDowell kidnapped a 15-year-old autistic teen near Douglas and Grove. Prosecutors said that McDowell then tied him up at his house with shoelaces and shocked the teen’s ears with jumper cables. McDowell believed the teen had stolen from him.

At the request of the defense, a pre-sentence investigation was ordered to be conducted at Larned State Security Hospital.

During the sentencing, the judge heard from the family of the named victim and from the state’s attorney in support of the 147 month term. The defense requested a disposition departure to probation. The court denied the dispositional departure request but found the defendant’s mental health issues provided a “substantial and compelling basis” (the legal standard under Kansas law) to support a downward durational departure from 147 months to 36 months incarceration.

McDowell will have to register as a violent offender upon his release. At the time of sentencing today, McDowell earned 640 days of jail credit.

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