Man pleads not guilty to robbing, duct-taping womenPublished 10:19am Friday, November 25, 2011
ALBERT LEA — One of the two Iowa men charged with allegedly robbing, duct-taping and then dumping two women in Albert Lea pleaded not guilty Monday.
Michael Lee Kraft, 18, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, pleaded not guilty to one count of simple robbery and requested a jury trial. The date of the trial has not yet been set.
Kraft and co-defendant Trayvon Marquis Forrest, 22, reportedly gave two 18-year-old women from Wisconsin a ride on Interstate 35 on Nov. 7 when Forrest, seated in the front passenger seat, allegedly grabbed the women by the throats, hit them in the face and then wrapped duct tape over their mouths and eyes.
Kraft continued to drive while this was going on.
After about five minutes, the car came to a stop in Albert Lea, and the two men reportedly forced the women out of the car and then drove away.
The women ran to the A-Lea Apartments on Jansen Street, where they called police. Kraft and Forrest reportedly stole more than $2,000 in cash, along with purses and suitcases.
The men were later stopped and arrested by deputies with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office after crossing into Iowa.
Both men have since posted a non-cash bond of $10,000.
Forrest, who has not yet entered a plea to his charge, requested a public defender Monday.