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Kidnapper faces life in prison

ALBANY, Ga. -- Children had a good day in court Wednesday.

A jury handed down a guilty verdict that would certainly put 41-year-old Jeremiah Frank Thomas away for life, said Heather Lanier, chief assistant district attorney. Thomas was arrested in December 2010 for kidnapping a child.

Although Dougherty County Superior Court Judge Denise Marshall postponed sentencing Thomas on the charge, Lanier said his criminal history would suggest a life in prison sentence.

"He is a recidivist. He was convicted of six felonies in the past and Judge Marshall will take that into account," Lanier said. "She postponed sentencing because of security concerns."

Thomas was found guilty the same day as 20-year-old Montrevious Spurlin, who will head to prison to serve 25 years for aggravated sexual crimes against his cousin, a 7-year-old girl. Judge Willie Lockette sentenced Spurlin.

"We diligently prosecute crimes against children," Lanier said. "We are hoping this speaks volumes to how seriously the District Attorney's Office staff takes crimes against children."

Lanier said the prosecution of the case against Thomas was handled so well by assistant district attorneys that Marshall complimented them in court, on the record.

"Judge Marshall complimented them on their excellent work and professionalism," Lanier said. "I am proud that two dangers to children are out of the community."