Two arrested for kidnapping

BUCKHANNON — Two Upshur County men are being held without bond for allegedly kidnapping a man before he was able to escape and ask for help.

Bernie Jasper Cook, 28, and Kody Dale Linger, 18, were arrested for kidnapping and grand larceny, both felonies, and battery, a misdemeanor.

Cook and Linger allegedly beat Eric Fultz in the head and face on Thursday, causing severe injuries, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.

The two men duct-taped Fultz’s mouth and hands and forced him into the trunk of his own vehicle, according to the complaint. They then drove from River Road to Brushy Fork Mart. During that time, Fultz cut himself free with a pocket knife and waited for the vehicle to stop so he could pull the inside trunk release.

He ran inside Brushy Fork Mart, followed by Cook, who tried to force him back out to the car, according to the complaint. Fultz refused and the store clerk called 911.

Cook allegedly threatened the victim but left with Linger in Fultz’s 2012 Ford Fusion before law enforcement arrived.

Cpl. Dewaine Linger is the investigating officer.

Magistrate Kay Hurst arraigned Linger and Cook and ordered them to be held without bond for the kidnapping offense. Bond was set at $25,000 cash/surety for grand larceny and $5,000 cash or surety for battery. 

If convicted, the kidnapping charge carries life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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