Pair of kidnapping suspects in court but preliminary hearings were postponed

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An Indianapolis man and a Steubenville woman are charged with kidnapping and robbing two young girls who stopped to give them a ride when they were hitchhiking.

Jayden Baker and Tia Benson were scheduled to have their preliminary hearings.

But both preliminaries were continued.

Tia Benson’s lawyer told Judge Chris Berhalter that Benson’s $100,000 bond was too high.

“We ask that the bond be cut in half to at least $50,000,” said Attorney Tom Ryncarz. “She’s not a flight risk. Up to this point I believe she’s been cooperative so we’re asking that you have consideration in a bond reduction.”

Northern Division Court Judge Chris Berhalter said it is not his place to consider guilt or innocence at that level, but there are other factors he must consider.

“If your client is guilty, these are very serious crimes,” said Judge Berhalter. “Which means she could pose a threat to the public. In addition, if convicted, she faces up to 23 1/2 years in prison. Therefore based on all those factors, the bond shall remain as set.”

Her co-defendant has been known all along as Jordan Baker, but today he told the judge he gave his brother’s name to the police when he was arrested.

He admitted he’s actually Jayden Baker.

Baker is charged with kidnapping, aggravated robbery and auto theft.

Tia Benson is charged with complicity in all three of those counts.

The pair allegedly held two teenage girls at gunpoint, locked them in their own car trunk and drove around, later abandoning the car leaving the girls, ages 14 and 17, still locked inside.

They managed to get out, using the trunk escape latch featured on newer cars.

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