May sentencing date set in Ponoka kidnapping

Sentencing has been set for early May for the man who abducted a prominent Ponoka businessman last fall.

Sentencing has been set for early May for the man who abducted a prominent Ponoka businessman last fall.

Larry Hugh McClelland, 50, pleaded guilty earlier this year to numerous charges in relation to the abduction at gunpoint of 56-year-old Blair Vold in the driveway of his rural home near Morningside on Sept. 15.

McClelland was arrested Sept. 21 on charges of unlawful confinement, using a firearm in the commission of an indictable offence, possession of a restricted firearm, extortion, pointing a firearm, and uttering threats.

He pleaded guilty on Feb. 28 to kidnapping, extortion and unlawful use of a firearm.

A sentence hearing on those charges has been set for Wetaskiwin provincial court on May 23.

His lawyer and the Crown prosecutor will speak to the remaining charges on that day.

McClelland remains in custody awaiting the May 23 hearing.

On the day of the abduction, Vold, an auctioneer, was taken by gunpoint outside his home by a lone man, tied up and blindfolded, and then driven to a Lacombe bank.

While his abductor tried to use Vold’s credit card at the bank’s ATM, Vold managed to escape from the vehicle he was in. He pulled his blindfold off, bolted to a nearby gas station and called 911.

Soon after, police began looking for a suspect, using good quality photos taken at the bank ATM.

The kidnapper demanded $300,000. Blair Vold’s father Ralph said at the time that no money was ever exchanged.

The entire ordeal lasted about two hours.

The Volds are well-known Ponoka family, who have been in the livestock auction and cattle business for more than century.