According to reports, Michael Devlin will plead guilty next week in the kidnapping, attempted murder and and sexual assault. The case of Michael Devlin, the unassuming former Pizza manager, is an amazing story of hiding in plain sight. The blessing to this plea deal is that neither boy, William “Ben” Ownby nor Shawn Hornbeck will have to relive in a court room what happened to them and Michael Devlin will be taken out of society and away from our children for most likely life. This is probably the best outcome when we consider what is best for Shawn and Ben and their futures.
Washington County prosecutor John Rupp said Michael Devlin will plead guilty to all charges there in the 2002 kidnapping of Shawn Hornbeck and will be sentenced Tuesday.
Devlin was arrested in January after police found Shawn and Ben Ownby at Devlin’s apartment in the St. Louis County town of Kirkwood.
Loyd Bailie, Ben’s uncle, told The Associated Press on Friday that the family had been briefed by prosecutors that Devlin will plead guilty next week in all four jurisdictions where he is charged: three Missouri counties and federal court. He said he did not know whether Devlin would plead guilty to all of the more than 80 felony charges against him, several of which carry life sentences. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The bizarre case of Michel Devlin started in the case of the kidnapping of Ben Ownby only to later learn that Devlin was also responsible for the earlier kidnapping of Shawn Hornbeck. William Ownsby was kidnapped and an AMBER ALERT was issued for the missing 13 year old boy after a witness saw the boy pushed into a white pickup truck. When the miraculous news occurred that William “Ben” Ownby was found safe and alive, no one could have imagined at the time that Shawn Hornbeck, who had been missing since 2002, would be found as well. Michael Devlin had in fact kidnapped both boys and had been charged by police with kidnapping and numerous other sexual molestation charges. The multiple sodomy charges were too numerous to list. The guilty plea will take this heinous individual off the streets and away from our children for life.