ROGERSVILLE (WATE) – The Hawkins County man charged with kidnapping a 9-year-old girl and setting off a massive Amber Alert search pleaded guilty in court on Monday and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Gary Simpson entered an Alford plea on Monday, meaning he did not admit to his charges and maintained his innocence, but felt he had no chance of a not guilty verdict. Simpson must serve 100 percent of his sentence.
Simpson was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping after police say he took his niece by marriage out of school last May. People spent countless hours searching for her and she was finally found in a rural area by three men.
He was later also charged with two counts of rape of a child and three counts of aggravated sexual battery.
Previous story: Hawkins County man charged with rape, sexual battery