Another Example of what Kidnapping is Not

          In the case of Gray v. State of Florida, Mr. Gray was convicted of kidnapping based on the following facts:

 

          "Gray entered a convenience store in Fernandina Beach on February 24, 2004, at around 11:00 p.m., wearing a mask. He seized the clerk by the hair, threatening to blow her head off if she tried to do anything. He continued to pull the victim by her hair to the office where the keys were located, then pulled her by the hair to the front door and ordered her to lock it. Leaving the keys in the front door, Gray forced her behind the counter and ordered her to open the two registers. He then took money from each, and directed the victim to lie face down between the registers and open the safe. She replied she could not open it, but she did retrieve two bills from the money drop. Gray then ordered her to remove all of her clothing except her undergarments. He further advised her he had a friend inside the store, and if she attempted to leave, the friend would blow her head off. The clerk heard him walk around the counter, heard the keys jingle, then the doorbell, and after listening for another 20 seconds, she pushed the panic button to notify the police, called 911, and dressed herself. The clerk reported that the robber took a large set of store keys, but he did not lock the door when he left. Neither did he make any sexual advances toward her, nor threaten her sexually."

 

          Because Gray's movement and confinement of the clerk were part and parcel of the robbery and because that confinement ended as soon as Gray left the store, Florida's First District Court of Appeal reversed his conviction for kidnapping.  The appellate court considered the following facts to be particularly important:

 

          1.   Although Gray threatened to kill the clerk, he did not bind her; and

 

          2.  Although he ordered the clerk to lock the store and take off her clothes, those actions did not go beyond the robbery itself because when Gray left the store the door was unlocked, and he also left the clerk's clothing behind, thus allowing her to dress as soon as he left.

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