Topeka Man Still Jailed In Haiti

By: Suzie Gilbert Email
By: Suzie Gilbert Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Topekan Drew Culberth and nine other Americans are still jailed in Haiti pending their trial. (VIDEO INCLUDED)

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The ten Baptist missionaries charged with kidnapping and criminal association could spend three to nine years in Haitian jail.

The group's lawyer is still working to free nine of them, including Culberth, meaning this woman, Laura Silsby, could bear the brunt of the punishment.

Topekans all seem to agree that Culberth acted with innocence, and got mixed up in a terrible situation.

"I think there's probably been a lot of chaos down there you know. He's not the type of guy that would kidnap somebody or whatever," Culberth's family friend Amy Anderson said.

Adoption official Sharon Stuewe, who was previously tough on the group, says she thinks Culberth acted with good intentions.

"Unfortunately ignorance of the law is no excuse and I think really it causes all of us to step back and take a really good look at what we're doing and think with our heads and not our hearts in this case," Stuewe said.

Meanwhile government officials say they'll do all they can to see the ten are treated fairly.

"We're going to continue to provide support as we do in every instance like this," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said."

"We need our state department to do all they can to clear the situation up," Governor Mark Parkinson, D-Kansas, said.

Culberth's wife told 13 News she and the kids are holding up the best they can. She hasn't talked to Drew yet but scheduled a conference call with the state department today, she just fears all the snow in Washington D.C. might prevent that call from happening.

Stay with 13 News. We'll keep you informed with the most up-to-the-minute information on this developing story.


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