Man accused of kidnapping ex-girlfriend could get life term

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have charged a man with kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in North Carolina while out on bond on an assault charge.

Luis Analberto Pineda-Anchecta, 37, is expected in court Friday, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

Pineda-Anchecta was arrested by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police on May 15, 2019, and charged with assault on a female and communicating threats against his ex-girlfriend, U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said in the release.

He made bond and was released two days later, despite a detainer issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, news outlets reported.

Pineda-Anchecta is a Honduran national who was convicted on a charged of living in the U.S. illegally, Murray said in the release. He was sentenced Tuesday to seven months in prison.

On May 21, his ex-girlfriend, only identified by authorities as F.M., said two masked men approached her in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Charlotte, according to a criminal complaint. She identified one of the masked men as Pineda-Anchecta.

The woman told authorities he stuffed a cloth in her mouth, wrapped a rope around her head so the cloth would stay in place and forced her into a car, the release said.

“I love you and I'm going to kill you,” Pineda-Anchecta told the woman, the complaint states.

Pineda-Anchecta drove the woman alone to a wooded area, but after a struggle, she was able to get away and received help from drivers on a nearby highway to get to safety. The complaint says Pineda-Anchecta left the area on foot.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police later found the vehicle with the woman's phone and a spool of rope that may have been used in the kidnapping found inside, according to the news release.

Pineda-Anchecta was arrested following a hourslong standoff two days later, prosecutors said in June.

If convicted, Pineda-Anchecta could be sentenced to life in prison on the federal kidnapping charge.

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