FAYETTE COUNTY — Kidnapping charges against a 34-year-old Farina man have been dismissed in Fayette County court in exchange for his open plea of guilty to criminal damage to government property.

Darrel Moulton
(Source: FCSO)

Darrel K. Moulton was arrested in July after he knowingly and secretly took his 9-year-old son from a Vandalia location and held the boy against his will.

The pair was the focus of an Amber Alert and hours later were discovered in a rural area of Fayette County just south of Vandalia. Moulton was arrested and taken to the Fayette County Jail with bail set at $500,000.

Moulton was ultimately charged with Class X felony aggravated kidnapping of a victim under the age of 13. That charge was dismissed today in court in exchange for Moulton filing an open plea of guilty to one of two felony damage to property charges.

According to court records, when Moulton was being returned to the Fayette County Jail following a pre-trial hearing in the kidnapping case, he “removed R-board and foam insulation from a wall at the jail and flushed the r-board down the toilet, causing flooding and major plumbing issues.

He was then charged with Class 3 and Class 4 felony charges of criminal damage to government property for that incident.

Moulton pleaded guilty Friday to the Class 3 charge with the Class 4 charge also being dismissed per the plea agreement. An open plea of guilt is made without a guaranteed sentence.

While a Class 3 felony is generally punishable by between 2-5 years in prison, according to Fayette County State’s Attorney Josh Morrison, Moulton’s criminal history makes him eligible for extended sentencing of between 2-10 years in prison.

Morrison says the case is set for sentencing in July, allowing for the completion of a pre-sentencing report.

Moulton remains in the Fayette County Jail where he has been since his 2016 arrest in the kidnapping case.