Local news

Man’s trial under way in gas pump kidnapping

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16, 2009

A kidnapping and robbery suspect accused of victimizing a Good Samaritan soon will have his fate decided by a Spokane jury.

Jason P. Shepard, 33, is accused of conning a 20-year-old Spokane woman into thinking he needed gas to see his sick baby, then forcing her into her car and stealing her debit card and cell phone. Shepard was arrested shortly after the May incident.

A jury will decide whether to convict Shepard on charges of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree robbery and second-degree theft in a trial that began Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court.

The victim, Brittany C. Fields, testified Tuesday morning.

Fields was putting gas in her car at the Albertsons station at 6616 N. Nevada St. about 12:50 a.m. May 6 when Shepard asked for $5 to gas up his car, according to a report by Spokane police Detective Mark Burbridge.

Fields bought him $10 in gas using her debit card, according to the report. Shepard then allegedly forced her into her car and drove her to a residential area near the station.

He demanded her money before leaving in a car driven by Crystal L. Fuller, police said. Fuller, 26, was sentenced to 13 months in prison in October after pleading guilty to second-degree kidnapping and second-degree robbery.

Fields memorized most of the car’s license plate, which led Burbridge to Shepard and Fuller.

They were arrested at their apartment at 2820 N. Cherry St., in Spokane Valley. Police say Shepard blamed Fuller for the incident and said she’d called her aunt to tell her about the stolen debit card “and if she wanted gas to meet them at the AM PM gas station in Hillyard.”

Judge Jerome Leveque is presiding over the trial.

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