Canton man sentenced to 40 years in aggravated assault, kidnapping case of Long Beach woman

A Canton man will spend 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and kidnapping of a Long Beach woman, District Attorney W. Crosby Parker announced today.

Kevin Gentry, 40, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault and one count of kidnapping before Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois at the Harrison County Courthouse in Gulfport.

Bourgeois sentenced the defendant to 40 years, suspending 15 years, leaving 25 to serve. The defendant was placed on 15 years of post-release supervision upon his release, five of which are reporting.

The case began when the Long Beach Police Department was called to the Arbor Station Apartments a little after 8:30 am on October 9, 2019. Upon arrival to the apartment complex, police officers were directed to an upstairs apartment unit, where they saw the defendant holding a female victim at knifepoint on the apartment balcony. Officers were able to free the victim, disarm the defendant and take him into custody.

The investigation found that the defendant and the female victim were in a previous relationship while they were living in Colorado and the woman had moved to Long Beach a few months prior.

On the morning of the crime, the defendant placed chewing gum on the apartment’s peephole to conceal his identity and knocked on the door. A man answered the apartment door and the defendant forced his way into the apartment. The male victim and the defendant fought with each other, and the defendant eventually pulled out a knife and cut the male victim on the throat.

The female victim tried to break up the fight, but the defendant grabbed her, pulled her to the balcony, cut her, and held her at knifepoint.

By that time, a downstairs neighbor heard the commotion and entered the upstairs apartment. She saw the defendant holding the female victim on the balcony. Both the male and female victim were taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport and were released within 24 hours of their admission.

“After the defendant was taken into custody, the police searched the defendant’s vehicle. Inside the vehicle, police located the defendant’s passport, an assault rifle, loaded magazines, and some electronics. A further search of the defendant’s electronics showed the defendant had been searching for countries without extraditions to the United States,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew D. Burrell who prosecuted the case.

“We commend the Long Beach Police Department for their quick response and ability to apprehend the defendant before any further injuries were suffered. We are hopeful the prison sentence handed down by the Court will help bring some security to the victims,” said Parker.

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