Trial begins for kidnap suspect
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The trial of a man accused of kidnapping and aggravated burglary began Tuesday before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John Vavra.
Gary Edward Anderson-Myers, 33, of 1731 Guernsey St., Bellaire is accused of abducting Jamie L. Jackson, 35, after an apparent domestic dispute at the Belle Village Apartments in Bellaire in August. Jackson was found unharmed six hours later. Anderson-Myers was arrested three days afterward.
Anderson-Myers was represented by Bruce Clark, who has argued no kidnapping took place and that there were Facebook messages between Jackson and Anderson-Myers.
Tess Rheinhardt, who works as the apartment property manager, testified about the events of Aug. 15. She said neither Jackson nor Anderson-Myers had a lease at the apartments, although Anderson-Myers had a family member living there. She said Jackson arrived at her office door, asking to use the phone.
“I asked who she was visiting there, because I knew she wasn’t a tenant. … I let her use the phone,” Rheinhardt said.
Rheinhardt said Jackson made a call and “frantically” said she needed a ride. She said after making the call, Jackson waited outside the office until the phone rang for Jackson. Rheinhardt said she overheard the conversation.
“She said, ‘I’m tired of waking up and getting punched in the face.’ Those were her exact words,” Rheinhardt said, adding that she thought Jackson’s face looked swollen.
Rheinhardt said Anderson-Myers arrived a little later, sparking a confrontation.
“I heard her talking to him. I didn’t hear the words. Then he left, and a little bit later I heard him come again and that’s when I heard her say, ‘Get away from me, Gary,'” she said. “She comes running in the office and shuts the door behind her and locks the dead bolt. At that time, I was half-stunned. I didn’t have any time to really react. That’s when he starts pulling open the door. It only took him maybe three pulls. … That’s when the door frame busted. She went running in the back, and I’m still kind of trapped behind my desk, and then he just went running after her.”
Rheinhardt said Anderson-Myers tried the laundry room door first, then another door, which Jackson had used. Rheinhardt began calling 911.
“I walked back there and I could just see him pulling her by the arm … as soon as they went out of the side door,” she said.
“When the door busted, it just totally shocked me,” Rheinhardt said. “Is he going to lunge at me? What can I do? I didn’t know what to think, it happened so fast. … He was coming in looking like a madman. I didn’t know what he was going to do.”
The jury heard a recording of the 911 call and pictures of the door frame.
Clark cross-examined. In response to his questions, Rheinhardt said there were no operable security cameras at the time and she did not see any contact between Jackson and Anderson-Myers.
“She didn’t run until he was actually inside?” Clark said.
“Yes,” Rheinhardt said.
Earlier, Clark cross-examined Deputy Michael Sabol, who worked on the case. He specified that while a verbal statement was taken from Jackson, there was no written statement and his report indicates she had no injuries whatsoever. Sabol said this was accurate. In answer to further questions, Sabol said law enforcement has had difficulty in following up with Jackson to get more information.