Man called ‘Peckerwood’ sentenced for his role in drug-related kidnapping, torture

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A Kansas City man who admitted to being part of a conspiracy to kidnap and torture an Independence man over a drug debt has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Randal G. Holmes, 54, also known as “Peckerwood” or “Wood,” was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

Holmes had previously pleaded guilty to kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana and brandishing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Three other men have been convicted in the case.

According to prosecutors, Holmes and co-conspirators on Sept. 13, 2016 held the Independence man, identified in public statements only as C.H., at gunpoint in a basement, punched him and assaulted him with a hammer and tin clippers.

During the assault, Holmes repeatedly demanded that C.H. disclose the location of a duffel bag containing money that was to have been used for drug trafficking between Kansas City and Colorado.

Holmes later drove C.H. to a rural residence near Edwards, Mo. As Holmes drove them to the residence, his son, Gerald Holmes, continued to hit C.H. with his fists and with the butt of a firearm.

When they arrived at the residence, C.H. was instructed to call his father and to tell him that he was OK, that he had taken a beating, and that he would be home in a couple of days. CH also was told to tell his father that he deserved what had happened, according to court records.

Authorities later traced the telephone call. They located C.H. and arrested the conspirators. C.H. had numerous visible injuries to his face, head, hands and feet. He had trouble walking and his face was discolored and swollen with traces of dried blood.

A co-defendant, 43-year-old Michael C. Borrusch, also known as “Birdie,” of Lakewood, Colo., was sentenced Thursday to 3 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

Holmes’s son Gerald L. Holmes, also known as “Jerry” or “Joker,” 27, and another co-defendant, Richard M. Phoenix, also known as “Snake,” 77, both of Kansas City, have also pleaded guilty in the case. Both men await sentencing.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.