Kidnapping suspects waive preliminary hearing; granted reduced bond

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. —  The two men accused of kidnapping an Olive Branch teen appeared in a Desoto County courtroom again on Tuesday.

According to the District Attorney's office, Juan Andrade and Jason St. Aubin waived their right to a preliminary hearing, meaning the case is now headed to a Desoto County grand jury. That group will decide if there's enough evidence in the case for it to move forward.

On Tuesday, the judge also approved a motion from both suspects requesting a reduced bond. The development is of note due to the fact that just last week the judge denied the same request citing the seriousness of the offense and the fact that it could carry up to 30 years in jail if convicted.

Instead of $600,000 bond each, St Aubin's bond is now $500,000 while Andrade's is $300,000.

According to police, both Andrade and St. Aubin lured a 14-year-old to Illinois by communicating through a popular gaming app called Discord.

The teen was found safe several days after he was reported missing on August 1. He has since returned home.

Olive Branch investigators are piecing together exactly what happened while the teen was with the men and say more charges could be leveled against Andrade and St. Aubin.

"We want our citizens to know that we are here for them, that we are going to take care of these issues in our city and are going to stand up for our children and their families. We will not tolerate this type of behavior," William Cox, with the Olive Branch Police Department, said.

Meanwhile, police say this case should be an eye-opener to parents to pay close attention to who their children are talking to.

"It's so important for parents to take an active roll in their child's activities. We should make sure that we as parents know what they're doing, that we talk to them about it, that we are engaged with them and that we don't allow anything to come between an open conversation with us and our children," Cox said.