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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2008

Toledoan's bond $500,000; man accused in abduction, attack over lost dog

The third person allegedly involved in the torture of a man in a South Toledo basement appeared Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for arraignment on assault charges.

Alexander Williams, 22, of 1806 Perth St. was charged with one count each of felonious assault and kidnapping. He is accused of participating in a May 30, 2007, attack on Anthony Pierson, who was accused of losing a dog.

Judge Charles Doneghy set a $500,000 bond and continued the arraignment until April 22 to give Williams time to hire an attorney. He had failed to appear for arraignment last year and recently was arrested in Minneapolis.

Williams is the fourth person allegedly linked to an attack on Pierson.

Robert Lawhorn, 30; Jada Farthing, 29, and Kennie Brown, 18, each entered pleas in February for their roles in the incident.

Farthing, who originally was charged with felonious assault and kidnapping, entered an Alford plea to the lesser offense of abduction. She faces up to five years in prison when sentenced April 25.

Brown, who originally was charged with bribery for his role in taking Pierson out of the jurisdiction before a trial date, entered an Alford plea to attempted bribery and faces up to 18 months in prison when he is sentenced the same day.

Lawhorn, who also originally was charged with felonious assault and kidnapping, pleaded no contest to the felonious assault charge. He since has filed a motion to withdraw his plea. He will appear in court Tuesday, at which time Judge Doneghy is expected to rule on the motion.

In an Alford plea, the defendant maintains his innocence or does not admit he committed a crime, but pleads guilty because he decides it's in his best interest. The court treats it the same as a guilty plea.

Authorities said Pierson was duct-taped to a pole in the basement of Farthing's house and tortured for two days after being accused of losing Lawhorn's pit bull.

According to county Assistant Prosecutor Jim Vail, Pierson is missing.

"He has not been found, to my knowledge," Mr. Vail said yesterday.

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