LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - In less than 12 hours, the man convicted of kidnapping three Lubbock children will learn his fate.
A jury convicted Kenneth Michael Wilcox on three counts of kidnapping in May. Friday, a Federal judge will hand-down his sentence.
Wilcox still maintains his innocence. NewsChannel 11 spoke to him in an interview, and he told his side of the story. "I did not kidnap them. I had consent to have these kids. I asked their parents two weeks prior to the trip," says Kenneth Wilcox during the interview.
Wilcox says he planned a trip to Six Flags for his son, Lashawnda Theriac, Jasmine Bazan and Angel Contreras, because he wanted to get the children away from the negative environment at the Ponderosa Apartment complex. "There's a lot of prostitution there. There's a lot of drugs. I do stuff with the kids to get them out of that environment."
The parents told police they thought the trip was only to Six Flags in Arlington, but Wilcox says they knew he planned to make some stops in Amarillo, Oklahoma and Louisiana. In Amarillo, Wilcox says his son asked to stay with his ex-wife, so he agreed.
Wilcox then says when he and the other three children arrived in Oklahoma, they had car trouble. "We was actually looking for my cousin Danny, and I went out there to the river, and then that's when I had my blowout tire. The wires hanging out, and we just had nothing but trouble."
They spent the night at the river. Wilcox says the only time the children seemed nervous was when he told scary stories. Prosecutors say Wilcox subjected the children to psychological terrorism and torture, introducing them to a man who offered to buy the children and eat them.
The next day, Wilcox says he took the children to his cousin's house where he left Contreras and Theriac. He says he told them to call their parents, claiming they couldn't before because Jasmine lost his phone. Wilcox says he only took Jasmine to get food, because he didn't want to leave the girls alone. "I didn't trust them. Jasmine and Leshawnda. They was always... you know..."
Wilcox says he had more car trouble and ran out of money, so he drove to another friend's house where he learned he was wanted for kidnapping. "Shock. I was like really shocked."
He says he was on his way to pick up the other children and call the Lubbock Police Department when authorities arrested him. Wilcox left nothing at his apartment in Lubbock. "I was fixing to move out anyhow. We was practically living in my car."
Prosecutors say he bought a hatchet, tarp and novelty handcuffs shortly before taking the children. Wilcox called the cuffs a present. "They was for my cousin's ex-wife. They was a gift."
He blames his ex-wife for the causing concern. "My ex-wife is trying to get custody of my son. so that's why she told Joe, well I don't think Wilcox is coming back."
Wilcox says the parent's and children's testimonies changed over time, and he thinks that should overrule the guilty verdict. "If I don't prove myself innocent I'll take death or life. That's how confident I am."
Wilcox is scheduled to be sentenced Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the Mahon Federal Building. He faces up to life in prison.
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Prosecution rests in Kenneth Wilcox trial
After three days and 30 witnesses, the prosecution rested Thursday in the federal kidnapping trial of Kenneth Wilcox, but not before jurors heard from two women who say Wilcox terrorized them.