A man already convicted to life in jail now faces new charges as police discovered he had kidnapped and raped another boy held captive in a Missouri home.
Michael Devlin was expected to plead guilty Tuesday to kidnapping, sexually assaulting and attempting to murder Shawn Hornbeck in 2002. Washington County prosecutor John Rupp said Devlin kidnapped Shawn at gunpoint when the boy, then 11, was riding his bike.
On Monday, Devlin accepted a life sentence for kidnapping William "Ben" Ownby in January as part of a plea deal that prosecutors say will put him behind bars for life.
Devlin, 41, said little during the brief hearing as Franklin County prosecutors laid out evidence showing he hunted for a victim for months before taking 13-year-old Ben. The boy was abducted at gunpoint after he stepped off his school bus Jan. 8, only about 500 feet (152 meters) from his family's home.
Police who found Ben four days later in Devlin's apartment were shocked to discover 15-year-old Shawn, who had been missing for four years.
Devlin, former pizzeria manager, was to plead guilty Tuesday and Wednesday in three more jurisdictions where he faces more than 80 felony charges for kidnapping and abusing both boys.
His attorneys said he accepted a plea deal after reviewing the evidence collected by authorities. The boys' families said they were relieved because the pleas will spare the teens from testifying and publicly reliving the case.
"Nothing good could have come from a trial," defense attorney Michael Kielty said. "The evidence ... is just absolutely overwhelming."
The hearings bring a swift end to a case that the defense had previously said it was ready to take to trial.
Devlin's punishment was handed down minutes after he waived his right to a separate sentencing hearing. He is expected to do the same in the other jurisdictions. Prosecutors say they expect Devlin will receive multiple, consecutive life sentences, all but assuring he will die in prison.
While it is The Associated Press' policy not to identify suspected victims of sexual abuse in most cases, the story of Shawn and Ben has been widely publicized and their names are well known.