Cordova family kidnapped and held at gunpoint


Brandon Benton

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Memphis man charged with kidnapping and assault is accused of holding a family hostage as he searched an apartment for drugs.

The victims told Brandon Benton they had no drugs, but police said he held them at gunpoint and forced them to go from room to room looking for what he called dope.

Police said Benton stopped Kiko Johnson while he was dropping his trash off at the dumpster, pulled a gun on him, and made him drive back to his own apartment.

Courtney Hogarth lives in the same building as the family who was kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint, and just realized she saw Benton leading two of the victims up to their apartment.

"He just walked up there with them," Hogarth said. "I didn't think anything of it, didn't even pay attention."

Police said Benton forced Johnson and Shirley Joyner into their Trinity Lakes apartment in Cordova. They said he held them and two others at gunpoint.

"He came in just nonchalantly and pulled out a gun and threatened to kill everybody if they called the cops," Hogarth said.

Officers said Benton made the family go room to room with him looking for what he called "his dope."

He allegedly said, "if he finds out anyone is selling his dope it was going to be a murder scene."

The victims said Benton also threatened to kill them if they called police.

Benton left the apartment and was later arrested.

Two of the victims identified Benton from a series of photos, and he's now charged with kidnapping, assault, robbery, burglary, and carjacking.

WREG spoke to Benton's parents, who said he has never been in trouble before and insist he is innocent.

However, News Channel 3 found he does have a rap sheet, including charges for drugs and resisting arrest.

Hogarth said this crime was the last straw for her. She is moving out of Trinity Lakes apartments.

"I want to get out of here," she said.

None of the victims were hurt.

Neighbors said they are a nice family and wonder if Benton had them confused with someone else.


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