On June 23, 2020 a federal jury sitting in Charlotte, NC convicted Luis Analberto Pineda-Anchecta, 38, of kidnapping following a two-day trial. In May 2019, CMPD officers arrested Pineda-Anchecta on several state charges, including Assault on a Female and Communicating Threats against his ex-girlfriend,
Two days following his arrest, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff allowed the release of Pineda-Anchecta on bond, even though the suspect was in the United States illegally.
After Pineda-Anchecta's first arrest, he approached his ex-girlfriend in a mask. Trial evidence established that in the evening of May 21, 2019, the suspect's ex-girlfriend was approached by two masked men as she was walking to her vehicle at an apartment complex in Charlotte.
The victim recognized one of the masked men as Pineda-Anchecta, who proceeded to grab the victim by the arm, stuff a cloth in her mouth, and then wrap a cord or rope around her head so the cloth would stay in place. Pineda-Anchecta and the other masked man forced the woman against her will into the passenger seat of a vehicle, and Pineda-Anchecta said,
“I love you and I’m going to kill you.”
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According to trial evidence, the other masked individual did not accompany Pineda-Anchecta and his ex-girlfriend in the vehicle. Pineda-Anchecta then drove his vehicle on Lancaster Highway. While Pineda-Anchecta was driving, he maintained a tight grip on the plastic rope tied around the victim’s face.
After traveling a short while on Lancaster Highway, Pineda-Anchecta parked his vehicle on the side of the road near a wooded area and turned off the vehicle’s engine.
Pineda-Anchecta maintained his grip on the plastic rope around the victim’s face, and pulled the victim out of the car. Witness testimony revealed that Pineda-Anchecta dragged the victim to a wooded area off of Lancaster Highway with which he was familiar.
Following a struggle between Pineda-Anchecta and his ex-girlfriend, she was able to escape and run into the middle of the highway, and was assisted by motorists who stopped to offer help. Pineda-Anchecta left the scene on foot.
After obtaining a search warrant, CMPD officers searched Pineda-Anchecta’s vehicle, from which they recovered a spool of plastic rope similar to the rope wrapped around the victim’s face during the course of the kidnapping. Law enforcement also located the victim’s phone in Pineda-Anchecta’s vehicle.
Pineda-Anchecta is currently in federal custody. He was previously convicted of illegal re-entry into the United States by a deported alien, and, on January 7, 2020, he was sentenced to seven months in prison. The kidnapping charge carries a maximum term of life in prison, a sentencing date has not been set for that charge.