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Two accused of torturing man appear in court

MOTT--Two men who were allegedly involved in torturing another man at a home in Reeder in February appeared in Southwest District Court for a preliminary hearing in Mott on Thursday morning.

MOTT-Two men who were allegedly involved in torturing another man at a home in Reeder in February appeared in Southwest District Court for a preliminary hearing in Mott on Thursday morning.

James Kibble, 55, and Gordon Lewis, 56, both of Reeder, were originally each charged with aggravated assault, felonious restraint and terrorizing, which are all Class C felonies.

According to testimony given by Timothy Helmer, a special agent with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and victim Tyrel Crawford, Crawford had arrived at the home of Ross Thomas in Reeder between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2017.

When Crawford and another man arrived at the home, Crawford said the men claimed that Crawford had stolen money from Thomas. At some point, Kibble allegedly told Crawford, "You ain't going anywhere," and he also instructed the other man to leave the home, which he did.

Crawford testified that sometime later, Kibble struck him in the back of the hand with a meat cleaver-style knife, which caused him pain and made him bleed.

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Crawford was later able to escape and ran down the road into an open field. However, due to the cold, Crawford had to go back near the road, where Thomas and Lewis found him. Crawford claimed Thomas had a gun with him, so he got into the vehicle with them. Crawford noted he believed Kibble was also trying to look for him, but Kibble had driven away from the home and was not there the rest of the time.

After coming back to the home, Crawford testified he was laid down near the entryway of a laundry room in the home. He said he had attempted to crawl toward the door to leave, but Lewis had a blowtorch, so he moved back.

Crawford said Lewis had walked back and forth with the blowtorch lit, which caused pain and burns on Crawford's body. Helmer said, according to medical records, Crawford's shoulder had second degree burns on it.

Later, Crawford said he was given his clothes back and Lewis drove him to Dickinson and dropped him off at a trailer park in town.

Ehlis dismissed the charge of terrorizing for both men. She said, according to the testimony given by Helmer and Crawford, no threats were ever actually made by Lewis or Kibble-the actions only occurred. Both men entered not guilty pleas.

Kibble and Lewis will make their next court appearances at a later date. Thomas is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in May.

Related Topics: CRIME
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