WILBARGER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A Mississippi man gets a 30-year prison sentence and a 10-year prison sentence for kidnapping a Good Samaritan from the Walmart parking lot in Vernon and making a weapon while in jail awaiting trial.

Joshua Southard mugshot

Joshua Southard, 31, decided to accept a plea deal on his charges as the jury was waiting in the hall to begin hearing testimony in Judge Dan Mike Bird’s 46th District Court.

On February 19, 2022, authorities said Southard asked a man in the Vernon Walmart parking lot for a ride to a nearby store. When they arrived at the store, the victim said Southard pulled what appeared to be a handgun and forced him to withdraw money at an ATM.

According to police, Southard then made the man put on a blindfold and then got behind the wheel of the victim’s pickup and drove to a hotel in Wichita Falls. He left the victim in the truck and used the victim’s credit card to rent a room.

A little while later, Southard went back into the hotel to ask for a refund, and the victim used the opportunity to get away and report the abduction to the police.

Southard was found and arrested a few days later in New Boston, Texas, with the victim’s Social Security card in his possession.

In May, while awaiting trial in the Wilbarger County jail, authorities say they learned from other inmates that Southard had a shank. A search turned up a weapon made by sharpening a spork to a fine point and reinforcing it with plastic.

District Attorney Staley Heatly said Southard said his crime spree was fueled by his need for meth.