Parolee back behind bars

Published 9:58 pm Friday, January 29, 2010

COFIELD – A Hertford County man is facing multiple charges after allegedly kidnapping a person from Washington County.

Dennie Lee Rankins, 52, is in the Hertford County Detention Center under a $600,000 secured bond facing charges of first degree rape, first degree sexual offense, first degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Rankins was arrested at his residence of Pritchard Farm Road in Cofield after the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office was requested to do a wellness check on a person that was possibly at the residence.

“Our officers arrived and knocked on the door,” said Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan. “At first, no one came to the door, but then Mr. Rankins answered the knock. He was informed that our officers were doing a wellness check and eventually the person we were seeking came to the door.”

The sheriff said, after investigation, it was apparent that the victim was being held against their will and Rankins was taken into custody.

“The person was taken from the place they were staying in Washington County and taken back to the residence here in Hertford County,” Sheriff Vaughan said.

The sheriff further stated that the rape and assault took place in the Cofield residence.

In apprehending Rankins, a 22-caliber rifle was found in the residence.

Rankins was originally placed under a $100,000 secured Bond, but his bond was raised by Chief District Court Judge Alfred W. Kwasikpui during his first appearance Tuesday.

The arrestee was out on parole after serving 18-plus years following a second degree murder conviction. He was released September 14, 2009 and is on parole until 2014.

“I want to thank my deputies for their quick response once we received the call,” Sheriff Vaughan said. “In my opinion, that quick response probably saved someone’s life.”

Chief Deputy Ronnie Stallings, Detective Dexter Hayes, Detective John Joyner, Sgt. Jesse Fennell and Deputy Leon Eason made the arrest.