Two men in the middle of kidnapping a Louisiana woman drown on the job

Two gentlemen drowned during a kidnapping attempt in Louisiana.

Millionaire Lawrence Michael Handley had hired the men, both 27 years old, to kidnap his ex-wife, Schanda Handley. She was at home with her 14-year-old daughter when the duo came to her house, posing as carpet cleaners, and forced themselves in. Armed with guns, they handcuffed her, threw a hood over her head, and forced her into a van. But on their way to Mississippi, where Handley was waiting, things went awry.

From The New York Times:

But as the men drove east on Interstate 10 on Aug. 6, 2017, with Ms. Handley handcuffed in the back, sheriff's deputies noticed the van was swerving and tried to stop it, prosecutors said.

The men, Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes, drove off the interstate, turned down a dead-end gravel road, and were penned in by the police, prosecutors said. Both men tried to escape by swimming through a canal, prosecutors said. They drowned.

Handley had made his fortune selling vitamins and software, and "had been the chief executive of a series of drug treatment centers that sold in 2015 in a deal worth about $21 million," according to The New York Times.

But he also had a history of threatening his wife, perhaps exacerbated by cocaine and meth use. "Mr. Handley's lawyer, Kevin Stockstill, said in an interview that his client had been using methamphetamine and cocaine for days when he hatched the plan to have his wife kidnapped," says the Times. "He said that Mr. Handley had planned to 'come in as a hero' and rescue Ms. Handley in an effort to "win her back."

On Monday, nearly four years later, Mr. Handley, 53, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of attempted second-degree kidnapping, prosecutors said. He faces 15 to 35 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Image by Lafayette Parish Sheriff