SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — A DeSoto Parish man is going to prison for 13.5 years for kidnapping his estranged wife at knifepoint.
It was June 2018 when Keithville resident Patricia Beaird told KSLA News 12 how 40-year-old Thomas Ray Beaird climbed into her SUV, pulled out a knife, forced her into the back floorboard, tied her up then drove around for roughly three hours, all the while threatening to kill her and himself.
She escaped when a store owner intervened and called police.
Thomas Ray Beaird, now 41, was to have gone to trial Wednesday in Caddo District Court.
But shortly before the proceedings began, the Stonewall man pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree kidnapping and improper phone communications and three counts of violating protective orders, the Caddo district attorney’s office reports.
Thomas Ray Beaird, of the 100 block of Dalton Road, admitted that he met with his estranged wife under false pretenses on June 18, 2018, attacked her and tried to restrain her with rope and zip ties.
He struck her several times, forced her into her vehicle, put a knife to her throat and, after getting two guns from his car, threatened to kill her and himself. He also admitted to driving to several locations with her tied up in the back seat before beginning to lose his nerve.
After a near escape at a red light on Bert Kouns Industrial Loop in southwest Shreveport, Patricia Beaird previously told KSLA News 12 that they stopped at a convenience store off Interstate 20 in Greenwood.
She recalled how he made her put sunglasses on and put her hair down to cover my neck.
That store is where she took a chance and quietly reached out for help from the man behind the counter. She lifted up her sunglasses and mouthed the words ‘Help me, help me’."
Former law James McLamb, co-owner of Outpost Travel Center, told KSLA News 12 that Thomas Ray Beaird took off in the SUV without his wife when he realized that McLamb had called police.
Thomas Ray Beaird ditched the vehicle not far away and ran into the woods. Days later, he turned himself in.
After bonding out on the kidnapping charge, he was convicted in U.S. District Court of lying on a purchase form for a firearm.
Now he has been sentenced to serve 13.5 years at hard labor on the kidnapping charge and six months in the parish jail on each of the misdemeanor charges, with the terms to run concurrently, the district attorney’s office reports.
And Thomas Ray Beaird has been sentenced to a year and a day in jail on the federal charge.