William Lornes's conviction -- and how a lottery ticket helped bust kidnapper for murder
A kidnapping at the Cherry Creek Mall and the murder of a Denver man whose body was found in a dumpster. At first glance, these crimes have little in common. But now, the same suspect -- William Lornes -- has been convicted of committing both of them and could spend the rest of his life in prison when he's sentenced later this month.
William Lornes. Additional photos and more below.
How did authorities connect Lornes to these incidents? Arrest affidavits on view below tell a story straight out of a Hollywood screenplay -- including an element of luck represented, appropriately enough, by a lottery ticket.
The inquiry into the kidnapping came first. At about 3 p.m. on April 13, 2011, according to the initial affidavit, a woman contacted the Denver Police Department to report having been kidnapped at gun point in her 2004 maroon Saturn Ion.
The woman told the cops that she worked at the Cherry Creek Mall and had just parked on the fifth level of the center's parking structure when a man later identified as Lornes approached her vehicle and asked her for a cigarette and to use her phone.
The victim's 2004 Saturn Ion.
Then, after he looked around, Lornes is said to have pulled out a silver handgun and told the woman, "You are going to drive me. Unlock your doors."
After climbing into the backseat, the report continues, Lornes directed the woman to motor away from the mall. He made conversation along the way, but also demanded that she hand over her wedding ring.
After a short drive, Lornes ordered the woman to pull into an alley and told her to get out from behind the wheel and climb into the Ion's trunk. After pleading for her life, she did so, and moments later, she could feel the vehicle drive off. However, she was able to find the trunk's interior release latch and clicked it open. She held it down until the car slowed, at which point she jumped out, landing on her stomach. Once free, she was able to scramble to a nearby 7-Eleven and call for help.
A short time later, a one-car accident took place on Highway 285 at mile marker 240, the narrative notes. A deputy called to the scene found the vehicle abandoned but saw a red Toyota Highlander driving slowly by the scene with two men inside. Officers then conducted what's described as a "high risk felony" stop on the Highlander near C-470 and Morrison Road. Among the men inside was Lornes -- and his silver handgun.
An earlier mug shot of William Lornes.
Lornes was taken into custody and put into a lineup observed by the kidnapping victim. She had no problem picking him out.
Meanwhile, that same day, a terrible discovery was made in a Denver alley.
Continue for more about William Lornes's conviction and how a lottery ticket helped bust the kidnapper for murder, including additional photos and two arrest affidavits.