BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Blount County man who kidnapped a member of a prominent Birmingham business family last year will spend nearly 20 years in prison for it.
On Tuesday, Matthew Burke, 35, of Remlap, was sentenced to 17 years, or 204 months, in prison for kidnapping Elton B. Stephens Jr., according to Stephens’ attorney Tommy Spina. Burke had previously pleaded guilty to kidnapping, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud back in August.
On September 11, 2020, Burke and Tabatha Nicole Hodges, 23, broke into Stephen’s home in Mountain Brook and forced him to drive with them to Remlap. According to prosecutors, they forced Stephens to wire $250,000 to a bank account. They then returned him to his home.
Hodges’ case is still pending in court.
Stephens is the son of Elton Stephens Sr., founder of EBSCO Industries. According to Forbes, the Stephens family is estimated to be worth $4 billion, making them one of the wealthiest families in the country.