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Estranged husband pleas to kidnapping wife, domestic violence worker

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An estranged husband accused of kidnapping his wife and a domestic violence program employee helping her was sentenced to 16 years in prison last month in Circuit Court.

William Dorris Irwin, 41, of 211 Ashmont Lane in Smyrna was charged with kidnapping Druecilla Jimenez who was helping his estranged wife, Lanena, Aug. 18 outside the Domestic Violence Office on Memorial Boulevard.

During his plea, Irwin entered pleas to three counts of aggravated kidnapping. Two of the sentences will be served together and the third sentence will be served after he completes the first term for a total 16-year sentence.

He will be eligible for parole after serving more than five years. He will receive credit for spending about nine months in jail already.

Circuit Court Judge Don Ash accepted the plea between Irwin’s attorney and the district attorney’s office.

During a previous hearing, Jimenez testified she and Lanena Irwin were doing paperwork at the office. When they returned to the wife’s car, they found her husband in the trunk.

Irwin jumped into the driver’s seat and ordered Jiminez to remain in the car, she testified. He drove erratically and sped through traffic, jumping the curb at Northwest Broad Street and Memorial Boulevard.

“I was terrified,” Jiminez remembered, describing how she begged Irwin not to hurt her or kill her.

Irwin promised to release her at the next store but drove on by, causing her to become hysterical.

“I asked him again not to hurt me,” Jiminez said.

Irwin released her before he got to the interstate. He was located later in Memphis.

Because of the fear he would come after his son at school, School Resource Officers locked down Smyrna High School for several hours that day.

During the same hearing, Lanena Irwin testified she told her husband in April she didn’t want to be married anymore. A month later, “I was held against my will in my bedroom one night for three hours.”

She sought help and moved into the Domestic Violence Shelter with her 16-year-old son. They visited Irwin July 4 at their home for an extended family gathering. After the family left, the wife testified he pulled a knife on her and their son. They escaped unharmed.

Read more from:
Domestic Violence Program, William Irwin
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