Man sentenced to life without parole in Avondale robbery-kidnapping case

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A man accused of kidnapping a woman at her apartment complex in Avondale was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Monday. 

Manuel Towns was arrested in March of 2017 and was charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. He was found guilty of all four charges. 

On March 14, 2017, Towns approached a woman at gunpoint and demanded money. When the woman told him she did not have any money, he forced her into the trunk of her car. The victim was able to escape from the car at a gas station on Bessemer Road by jumping out of the trunk as Towns was driving off, which was caught on camera. 

According to court records, Towns has a history with the criminal system. He pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery in the first degree in 2005 and 2006. He also faced other robbery and possession of marijuana charges and a domestic violence-strangulation charge in 2014 that was later dismissed after being bound over to a grand jury.

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