Man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old girl arraigned in Madison - KMOV.com

Man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old girl arraigned in Madison County

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Christopher M. Derleth, 39, is accused of kidnapping his step-daughter and her infant son from Edwardsville (Credit: Police) Christopher M. Derleth, 39, is accused of kidnapping his step-daughter and her infant son from Edwardsville (Credit: Police)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The man accused of taking his 13-year old stepdaughter and her newborn from their home in Madison County before disappearing to West Virginia appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon.

39-year old Christopher Derleth is charged with aggravated kidnapping and child abduction.  Madison County States Attorney Tom Gibbons says more charges could eventually be added.

“I would say he was fairly calm (during arraignment),” Gibbons said. “The judge asked him a series of questions related to his education and whether or not he understood what was going on. 

“(Derleth) indicated he had a tenth grade education and for the most part understood the written and spoken English language but he had some trouble reading things.”

Gibbons said he will be ready to go to trial within 120 days but highly doubts Derleth's public defender will let that happen so quickly.

“The trial process is largely dictated by the defendant and his attorney so we will wait and be ready to try (Derleth).  It may take significantly longer before they’re willing to put him in front of a jury,” Gibbons said.

News Four asked how stiff of a sentence the prosecution would seek if Christopher Derleth is convicted.

“I’m not going to say what we’ll push for but I can tell you it will be a very, very high number.”

Currently, a judge has not offered Derleth bail.  Gibbons said, however, if that changes they will fight that ruling because he has already proven to be a flight risk.

“I don’t think he has the financial means necessary to post a substantial bond and I think taking into account he fled the jurisdiction previously that’s going to make it unlikely that he’s going to be getting out,” Gibbons said.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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