A former Madison County High School football player was reportedly kidnapped by an Athens man and his accomplice from the front yard of his East Paoli Road home Tuesday evening as he talked on his cell phone, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
Johnny Leon Flanigan, 24, of Athens, is now in jail for allegedly kidnapping and beating Llewellyn Demarcus Shivers, 21.
According to the sheriff’s office, Deputy Scott Pulliam responded to a call from a woman who reported that Shivers, 21, who was staying at her house, “might be missing.”
The woman told Pulliam that a girl had called her home and told her that she had been talking to Shivers when she heard him scream and the line went dead. The woman went to check on Shivers, but could not find him.
Another person living at the home looked for Shivers, but failed to locate him, though he told the deputy that he had found Shivers’ hat laying in the road in front of the house. He said Shivers had called him and told him that he’d “left with some girls.”
Later, he told Pulliam, he’d received another call from a restricted number with a male voice telling him that Shivers was being held for a $10,000 ransom. The witness stated that he received more phone calls telling him to bring the money to the Chevron station on North Avenue in Athens “or else Shivers would be killed.”
According to the report, several of the phone calls were made while Pulliam was obtaining the information and that “Shivers could be heard screaming in the background.”
Flanigan was taken into custody early Wednesday morning at a grocery store where he expected to receive the $10,000 ransom, but was instead met by Madison and Athens-Clarke County officials.
Flanigan is being held without bond in the Madison County Jail on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and burglary.
Shivers was found on Winterville Road where he was allegedly beaten and dumped by Flanigan’s accomplice.
Officers are still searching for the accomplice and the investigation into the incident is continuing.