Warren couple sentenced in Dearborn kidnapping case

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A Warren couple has been sentenced Wednesday in connection with the kidnapping of a 22-year-old woman in Dearborn last fall, according to police.

Patricia Jernigan

Third Circuit Judge James Callahan sentenced Patricia Jernigan to 5-15 years in prison. Jernigan, 23, previously pled guilty to armed robbery and unlawful imprisonment.

Terrell Smith, 32, was sentenced to 42-65 years after a jury found him guilty of charges including torture, kidnapping, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and armed robbery and unlawful imprisonment.

According to Dearborn Police, officers responded Oct. 18 to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on a report of a victim who escaped a kidnapping.

Terrell Smith

The 22-year-old victim told police she was kidnapped by a former female friend and that friend’s boyfriend in the area of Warren and Lonyo. The victim said the suspects forced her at gunpoint into a car trunk. She was able to use the vehicle’s trunk release and jump from the moving vehicle on eastbound Interstate 94 near Livernois in Detroit, according to police. The suspects fled.

A passing motorist helped the victim who was taken to Henry Ford Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Jernigan and Smith were arrested two days later in Warren.

“This was a disturbing crime which we devoted many resources to in order to quickly apprehend the suspects,” Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said in a statement. “We are grateful that the victim escaped with only minor injuries and remained steadfast in her resolve to follow through with prosecution. We are pleased that justice has been served.”

Jarron Pittman

A third suspect tied to the case, Smith’s brother, Jarron Pittman, 23, was charged with witness intimidation after he allegedly contacted the victim and tried to convince her not to pursue charges against Smith and Jernigan. Pittman of Detroit accepted a plea agreement and is serving a sentence of 1-10 years in prison.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

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