FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A kidnapping trial started in Fort Worth Tuesday, without the accused kidnapper in the courtroom.
Michael Webb is accused of a brazen kidnapping from May, where prosecutors say he snatched an 8-year-old girl right off the side of the road as she was walking with her mother.
After U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor asked Webb Tuesday though if he wanted to change from a jail suit into street clothes for his trial, Webb replied, “Actually, I don’t even want to be here.”
After extensive questioning to make sure Webb understood what he was asking, O’Connor granted his request to let him leave and the trial continued without him.
The girl’s mother was the first witness, testifying that she and her daughter had been out enjoying a walk when Webb drove by them and shouted something. At that point she said she had a talk with her daughter about being careful around strangers, because they may want to hurt her.
It was moments later she said she heard a car stop behind them, and saw Webb get out.
She said he asked if she liked money, and then reached around her, grabbed the girl, and threw her into his car.
The mother testified she fought with Webb, even jumping into his car on top of him while he drove away, but he was able to push her out onto the street.
Prosecutors showed doorbell video of that moment, where the woman can be heard shouting for someone in the neighborhood to help.
Webb is only charged with kidnapping but U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in her opening statement she intends to also prove he sexually assaulted the girl during the eight hours he had her captive.
Webb faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Judge O’Connor told the jury the trial is expected to be finished by Wednesday.