Lawyer gets probation for kidnapping story

/ Source: The Associated Press

A lawyer and former city councilwoman who made up a story about being kidnapped and driven to Georgia was sentenced Wednesday to two years probation and fined $300.

Karyn McConnell Hancock, 35, who was missing for three days in December, pleaded guilty in January to one count of making false alarms. The misdemeanor charge carried a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Authorities said she told them a man with a gun and two others abducted her outside a juvenile court building in downtown Toledo and forced her into the back of a van. She later recanted, telling police she was tired and wanted to get away.

Since her arrest, at least 10 former clients have accused Hancock of stealing money from them.

Hancock, who gave birth to a girl three weeks ago, apologized at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing to her family, friends and law enforcement officers who spent time investigating her disappearance.

“I hope they find it in their hearts to forgive me,” she said.

Visiting Judge David Faulkner said her actions were likely triggered by stress and depression.

Hancock’s attorney, Jerry Phillips, said he expects she will charged with theft and forgery because of her former clients’ accusations. Hancock has settled one claim with a man who said she stole $128,000 from an insurance settlement.

Phillips said he did not know what she did with the money or why she did it.

Hancock’s husband has said she had a “meltdown” and was seeking treatment.

She was reported missing Dec. 5 and was found three days later, when she flagged down a motorist near the Six Flags amusement in Austell, Ga., west of Atlanta.

Her car was found nearby and investigators said she drove to the area by herself.

Investigators have said they don’t think her husband or anyone else knew what she was doing.

Hancock’s father, C. Allen McConnell, is a Toledo Municipal Court judge.