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Abduction Yields 15 Years in Prison

Forbes sentenced for robbery and abduction of U.S. senator's wife from her McLean home.

Christopher Forbes, 34, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the abduction and robbery of the wife of U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).

"A significant prison sentence is warranted," said Julie Mitchell, assistant commonwealth's attorney, during Forbes' sentencing hearing last Friday, May 6.

Kathleen Gregg returned to her McLean home on Oct. 7, 2003 after running a short errand, according to court documents.

Forbes and co-defendant Michael Pierre, 27, entered her home from the garage. As she attempted to flee, Forbes knocked her to the ground, tied her hands and sat on her back as Pierre ransacked the Gregg's home, according to court documents.

Afterwards, Pierre "drove her to the bank, holding a knife to her neck while Forbes was in another car," said Julie Mitchell, during the sentencing hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court last Friday, May 6. Pierre forced her to withdraw money.

"The co-defendant [Michael Pierre] was much more violent of the two," Mitchell said.

Forbes' defense attorney, Dawn Butorac, agreed.

"I find myself in the strange position of arguing the same thing as the commonwealth's attorney," she said. "He [her client, Christopher Forbes] was there and participated, but was less culpable of the two."

Forbes was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffers from addiction to drugs, she said. "This type of offense seems out of character for him."

<b>THE 15-YEAR SENTENCE</b> imposed by Fairfax County Circuit Court Chief Judge Michael P. McWeeny, was part of an agreement between prosecuting and defense attorneys.

The victim's husband preferred not to go to trial, Mitchell said, and did not want a lot of publicity from the case. Neither the senator nor his wife attended the Friday's sentencing hearing.

Mitchell said there was "extremely strong evidence" against the two defendants, including Pierre's fingerprints, DNA evidence, the bank statement where she obtained money to give to Pierre and Pierre's and Forbes' detailed admission to police.

Both pleaded guilty earlier this year.

<b>FORBES AND PIERRE,</b> who is from New Brunswick, N.J., were apprehended after they were involved in a high-speed chase with police from Carteret, N.J., the day after the abduction. After their vehicle crashed, they were taken into custody. Several items belonging to Gregg and his wife were discovered in the car, according to court documents.

Pierre is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

Judge McWeeny asked Forbes, who brought a hand-written letter with him to court, if he had anything he wanted to add before he was sentenced. Forbes said anything he wanted to say was in his letter.

McWeeny sentenced Forbes to 15 years for the robbery, suspending 10 years, and 20 years for the abduction, suspending 10.

Forbes faces an additional four years in prison for probation violations from Loudoun County.