FORT WORTH (NBC News) — The man found guilty of kidnapping an 8-year-old Fort Worth girl in front of her mother and later sexually assaulting the child will spend the rest of his life in prison.
A jury in September took less than 15 minutes to hand down a guilty verdict for Michael Webb in the May 18 abduction.
During sentencing Thursday, Webb, 51, received the maximum punishment of life in prison for the federal kidnapping conviction. The entire hearing Thursday, including a victim’s impact statement from the kidnapped girl’s father, took no more than 15 minutes.
Webb still faces nine state charges of aggravated kidnapping, six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child (enhanced) and two counts of indecency with a child (habitual offender notice). A Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office spokesman said in September their case was still pending.
Webb was accused of snatching a young girl off the street in Fort Worth in May as she walked with her mother in the Ryan Place neighborhood. The girl’s mother tried to prevent the abduction, but was overpowered by Webb, police said.
After an hourslong search, which included an Amber Alert being issued at about 11 p.m., the girl was rescued shortly after midnight at a hotel in Forest Hill. Webb was arrested at the scene and has been in custody ever since.
Webb was charged in federal court because he had used his phone, the internet, a car, hotel, and interstate highways while committing the kidnapping. Webb’s attorneys sought to dismiss the case, arguing police had no probable cause to enter his hotel room.
Police had been called to the room twice after someone spotted him entering the hotel with a young girl. The first time Webb was visited by police, officers with the Forest Hill Police Department didn’t see any sign of the girl. Later, officers from Fort Worth entered the room, rescued the child and took Webb into custody.
Webb had pleaded not guilty, and at one point in the trial told the judge he wanted new defense attorneys, saying he had “differences” with them. The judge denied his request.