Local News

Trial opens in kidnapping of Wilmington girl

Posted September 13

Douglas Edwards, 46, is charged first-degree kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child.

— A 7-year-old Wilmington girl is haunted by nightmares and is scared to play outside after she was kidnapped from her front yard a year ago and left chained to a tree, her mother said Wednesday in the opening day of her alleged abductor's trial.

Douglas Nelson Edwards, a registered sex offender, faces charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury and various child sex offenses in the September 2016 incident.

"He left her out there tied to that tree with no food, no water, no shelter, no way to defend herself against predators. She was tethered to the ground so that she couldn't stand up," New Hanover County Assistant District Attorney Lance Oehrlein said during opening statements, according to NBC affiliate WECT.

Oehrlein showed the jury the chain that was used, explaining it was used as a choke collar so that as the victim moved, it got tighter.

Jurors are being bused in from Sampson County for the trial.

For more on the case, check out WECT's website.

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  • Stacie Hagwood Sep 13, 4:51 p.m.
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    Even though it isn't a capital case, THIS is they type of thing a death penalty is for.