PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man accused of abducting a Philadelphia woman just weeks after a similar Virginia crime will be tried first in the Pennsylvania case.
Delvin Barnes, 37, is being brought to Philadelphia from Virginia for an initial appearance Wednesday on federal kidnapping charges.
Barnes is accused of grabbing a 22-year-old Philadelphia woman walking home from a bus stop on Nov. 2 and driving off with her as she kicked out his car window. Police found the two in his car three days later in Jessup, Maryland.
The victim, Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, fought her attacker and is now back with her family, authorities said.
Barnes will be tried in that case before he is prosecuted in the abduction and attempted murder of a 16-year-old Richmond girl. He was digging a grave for her when she escaped in early October, authorities said.
The Charles City County Sheriff’s Office called the trial strategy “a coordinated tactical maneuver.”
“Once he is tried on federal charges, he will be back here,” Capt. Jayson Crawley said.
After being arrested in the Philadelphia case, Barnes was taken to Virginia and questioned thoroughly about the teen’s abduction, Crawley said. He did not request a lawyer, he said.
Barnes is expected to be appointed a Pennsylvania lawyer at Wednesday’s hearing.
According to court documents, Barnes told police he didn’t know the Philadelphia victim, whose abduction was captured on surveillance video.
Barnes was released from prison a year ago after serving eight years for choking his estranged wife and assaulting her parents in Philadelphia.
In the Virginia case, he allegedly hit the girl in the head with a shovel, stuffed her in a trunk and took her to a mobile home, where he doused her in bleach and gasoline before she escaped.