January 23, 2023
District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that John Michael Alba, 29, of Waverly, pled guilty to the crimes of Kidnapping a Child under the Age of Fourteen Years, Theft by Taking a Motor Vehicle and Obstruction of an Officer, pursuant to a non-negotiated guilty plea entered in Glynn County Superior Court in 2022. Sentencing in this case was deferred until January 23, 2023.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred on June 16, 2021, when a woman parked her car at the Friendly Express at Highway 82 and Blythe Island Hwy, and ran into the store for a few minutes. She had left her two year old child inside. Store video showed that Alba rode up to the store on his bike, got in the vehicle and drove off with the child still inside. A search by police began and the stolen vehicle was spotted by Camden County deputies on Highway 17. A vehicle chase ensued and the defendant ended up wrecking the vehicle in a ditch. The child was uninjured. While attempting to detain the defendant, he bit one of the officers before he was tased and handcuffed and taken into custody. When questioned by police, Alba admitted taking the vehicle but denied knowing the child was inside. It was 43 minutes between the time the defendant took the vehicle and child, and the time they were recovered.
Alba appeared before Judge Stephen G. Scarlett, Sr. in Glynn County Superior Court on January 23, 2023, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by probation for life. Under Georgia law, Alba will have to serve every day of the 15 year prison sentence.
Members of the media with further questions may contact the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office at 912-554-7200.