FARMINGTON, Ga. – While three Augustans remain in jail, the 40-year-old man they are charged with kidnapping says he’s lucky to be alive.
Detrick Favors, who lives in a rural community south of Athens, said he was held captive nine hours Nov. 14 after being kidnapped at gunpoint from his home in Oconee County.
Favors said he was in a vehicle, his head covered with a jacket, as he was driven throughout Athens before his release in Morgan County.
Oconee County sheriff’s investigators and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents arrested one Augusta suspect Nov. 14 at a ransom drop-off point at a shopping center in Watkinsville.
Authorities said Justin Darquel Jackson, 24, of Augusta, went to the location expecting to receive ransom money for Favors’ release. Jackson, who was armed with a pistol, remains in the Oconee County Jail charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and burglary.
On Nov. 21, deputies arrested an Augusta woman, Karin Tanja King, 38, and Derrick Demetric Ingram, 36, of Haddock, Ga.
A third Augusta man, Curtis Michael Bonman, 30, was arrested Nov. 22. All face kidnapping, aggravated assault and burglary charges. Bonman is also charged in the August slaying of an Augusta man.
Favors agreed to speak about his ordeal, but said he is cooperating with investigators and would not reveal certain details authorities are withholding – such as the ransom amount.
Still, he admitted being worried because the suspects are from out of town.
“That’s sort of scary. If you look up home invasions in Augusta, two people got shot in home invasions there. I bet they’re part of it,” the lifelong Oconee resident said. “I don’t know those guys. Somebody put them on me.”
The kidnappers came to his home early that morning while he readied himself for work, he said.
“There was a knock at the door. I opened the door and it didn’t look right and I slammed the door shut real quick,” he said.
Then he said the visitors tried to force the door open, even firing a gun.
“I couldn’t get my cellphone. I was so scared I forgot where I put it,” he said. “You have guys knocking your door that hard and they shoot the door. I can’t describe (the fear).”
Favors said he went out a window in an effort to escape.
“I had a pretty good lead on them, but not enough to run up a hill,” said Favors, who lives in a rural area near the Greene County line.
He estimated he ran about 70 yards when he fell to the ground.
“I couldn’t go no more and that’s when he put the gun on me,” he said. “I was just hoping I wouldn’t get shot.”
While he declined specifics, Favors said “the ordeal went on for a while here at my house and they took me to another spot in the country.”
Favors said he convinced the men he could get the ransom money and so he made a call to a person who agreed to help and this person was able to get with the ATF and sheriff’s deputies prior to the ransom drop off.
Favors said he believes he was somewhere in the general area of the ransom drop off during Jackson’s arrest.
When his captors realized law enforcement was involved, they drove into Athens, Favors said.
“I started to jump out one time, but you have to think hard and fast. If you don’t jump out just right they can shoot you in the back,” Favors said. “I did the right thing, I think. I didn’t try to fight these guys or go against them.”
When he was released in Morgan County, Favors said he feared the worse even though the captors told him he would not be harmed.
“They said, ‘We’re going to let you out here,’” Favors recalled. “And I thought, ‘They’re going to shoot me now.’”
With his head covered, Favors said he got out and went toward some nearby woods. After the suspects drove off, Favors said he flagged down a motorist, who happened to be a preacher, and the pastor contacted law enforcement.
“I told him I’d been kidnapped,” Favors said of meeting the preacher. “And he said, ‘Lord have mercy.’”