Ex-Bethesda High School lacrosse coach, two others dealt defeat in UK extradition fight

A former varsity lacrosse coach and two others who fled the U.S. after being accused of taking part in a failed kidnapping plot in Virginia are dealt a defeat in their fight to stop their extradition.

The former coach, Gary Reburn, his girlfriend Valerie Hayes and Jennifer Amnott were denied an appeal by a court in Scotland last Friday.

Reburn was a varsity lacrosse coach at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland.

The three along with Amnott’s husband, Frank Amnott are accused of taking part in a kidnapping plot that prosecutors claim was hatched by Hayes in July of 2018.

“I am grateful to see the extradition process proceeding,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh, who has been trying to bring the trio back to Virginia to face charges.

Prosecutors say Hayes recruited her boyfriend and the Amnott’s, who were from Florida, to help her kidnap five children from two families in a Mennonite community in rural Dayton, Virginia and also kill the children’s parents. Hayes, according to prosecutors, falsely claimed three of the children taken belonged to her.

On July 29, 2018, court documents claim the four came together to execute the plan. Hayes is accused of going to the front door of the first home dressed in clothing that made her appear as Mennonite. When the father in the home opened the door, the group allegedly forced their way in and held him at gunpoint.

Prosecutors say the plan was thwarted when a mother in the home escaped and called 911. A Rockingham County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home and found Frank Amnott holding the father at gunpoint.

Frank Amnott was arrested, but according to investigators, his wife, Hayes and Reburn were gone. Later on, it was discovered that the trio fled to the U.K., where they have been arrested and fighting extradition ever since.

The three are charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping involving children, conspiracy to kill witnesses with the intent to prevent communication with law enforcement, kidnapping, attempting kidnapping, attempted killing of a witness, and firearms offenses.

Kavanaugh said further appeals of the extradition are possible.

Frank Amnott, pleaded guilty in December 2019 to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, one count of conspiracy to kill witnesses and one count of using a firearm in commission of a federal crime of violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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