SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An Oronogo man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to kidnapping a Webb City woman and threatening to kill her and her family unless she recanted her testimony in his state criminal case.

Thirty-four-year-old Jeffrey Marsh pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping, one count of Kidnapping, one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and one count of Stalking.

Co-defendant, thirty-three-year-old Zaqouri Traves Archer, of Joplin, pleaded guilty last year on July 21st to his role in the kidnapping conspiracy and one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

Both defendants admitted to kidnapping the victim – identified in court documents as “N.J.” – and transporting her across state lines from Kansas to Missouri.

N.J. was staying at a friend’s residence in Crawford County, Kansas in an attempt to hide from Marsh, her ex-boyfriend. Marsh was angry with her because N.J. reported him as a suspect when her Ruger handgun was stolen, according to a release from US Attorney Teresa A. Moore’s Office.

Oronogo PD executed a search warrant on Marsh’s home on January 26th, 2020 and found N.J.’s stolen handgun in Marsh’s bedroom. Additional firearms as well as stolen property were also located inside which led to Marsh being charged with Receiving Stolen Property and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Jasper County Circuit Court.

Later on February 2nd, while reportedly watching the Super Bowl at her friend’s home, N.J. walked outside to her car to go to work. After attempting to enter her car Marsh grabbed her and told her to get inside the car or be shot. Soon, Archer arrived clad in black clothing and wielding a taser. The two forced N.J. into the front passenger seat with Marsh driving, and Archer behind N.J. Archer continue to subdue their victim with duct tape over her mouth and eyes.

While driving around, Marsh shoved the barrel of his .45-caliber pistol in N.J.’s mouth and pulled the trigger. The gun clicked, but did not fire. Marsh then chambered a round and shot it outside the car and into a body of water. Additionally, Marsh would strike N.J. in her left jaw while telling her she will recant her statements to police.

Sometime after Archer left, Marsh would then take N.J. to her apartment in Webb City in his vehicle, and continue to threaten, abuse, and assault her once inside. She was held at gunpoint and not allowed to leave that night. Marsh further emphasized that should she not recant her statements, her children and family would be killed.

The following morning on February 3rd, Marsh took N.J. back to her car so she could recant her statements to Oronogo PD. N.J. did visit OPD and tried to recant her statement, but then disclosed the kidnapping. Jasper County authorities also found both N.J.’s and Marsh’s firearms taped under a dresser.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Marsh has two prior felony convictions for burglary, three prior felony convictions theft, and prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle, resisting an arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.

Under federal statutes, Marsh is subject to a sentence of up to life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Crawford County, Kan., Sheriff’s Office, and the Oronogo, Mo., Police Department.