Court: Minutes-long assault didn’t justify Arizona man's kidnapping charge

FILE - Generic gavel on wooden table.

A federal court on Feb. 3 overturned a man’s kidnapping conviction stemming from his assaulting his girlfriend for seven minutes, ruling that the time he restrained the victim while beating her was too brief to be charged separately.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that Giordano Jackson of Teesto, Arizona, be resentenced on his assault conviction stemming from the July 2017 incident.

In a separate but related decision, the court upheld Jackson’s convictions for first-degree murder and other crimes in his fatal beating of the same woman, Alvina Nez, in September 2017. Jackson was sentenced to life in prison for killing Nez.

The court said Jackson was correctly convicted of assault in the July 2017 attack but that the kidnapping conviction couldn’t stand. Previous court rulings said the federal crime of kidnapping shouldn’t be applied overly broadly and that the duration of the act of restraining a victim must be considered along with whether that act is part of another offense, the court said.

Jackson’s holding the victim for seven minutes "would be quite brief on the spectrum of possible kidnappings" and his "pulling or dragging (of Nez) was inseparable from the overall assault," the court said.

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