DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (CBS Houston) –– A Louisiana man has been convicted of kidnapping his own mother, then threatening to assault her with both a Virgin Mary statue and a picture of Jesus Christ.

CBS affiliate WAFB-TV reports that 49-year-old Kenneth Roberts, Jr. is now awaiting sentencing for a crime spree that took place last August.

His mother told authorities that she woke up in the middle of the night to find her son standing over her. He threatened to beat her with the religious items if she refused to drive him to a nearby ATM.

He reportedly needed the money, amounting to $80, to reconcile a debt he owed to a drug dealer. Police later arrested him while he was hiding in a closet.

His mother later tried to recant, but the prosecution provided evidence of witness tampering during the trial in the form of recorded phone conversations between Roberts and his mother.

On the tapes, Roberts urged his mother to help him avoid prison, to ignore subpoenas, and allegedly even coached her on what to say under oath.

Roberts was found guilty on an enhanced kidnapping charge, due to the age of his mother at the time of the crime.

Roberts could face up to eight years in prison.


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