Kidnapping suspect says he didn't do it

Wednesday, April 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The man accused of kidnapping a 3-year-old baby at gunpoint this weekend, says he's innocent. Larry Berry says he didn't even know about the kidnapping until the FBI showed up on his doorstep.

KOTV's Lori Fullbright talked to Berry Tuesday in an exclusive jailhouse interview. Larry Berry is being held on $1-million bond and is under 23-hour-a-day lockdown except for an hour in the exercise yard. He was shackled hand and foot when Fullbright interviewed him in the jail's chapel. Larry Berry had a very specific reason for agreeing to a TV interview. "I just want to set the record straight. I'm innocent and I want to say to the family of the victim, I had nothing to do with this."

Tulsa Police say Berry is the man who went into a local apartment early Sunday morning and took 3-year-old Deandre Thomas by gunpoint. "My question to them is, they said the dude was wearing a mask. How could she pick me out of line up if she never saw his face and say it was me?" Berry's cousin is Lamarr Dennis; the man police believe masterminded the kidnapping scheme to keep from serving a 20-year prison sentence for child molestation. They think the boy was to be used as extortion to get the key witness against Dennis to change her testimony. Berry says not only was he not at the kidnapping which happened at 1:30 Sunday morning, but, says he has an alibi. He says he was here at a downtown Tulsa club with the mother of his 6-month-old son until two in the morning. "They asked me what I would do to prove my innocence. They asked if I would put my picture in a line-up and I said yes. They asked if they could fingerprint me and I said yes. They asked me to take a polygraph and I said no." Berry says a polygraph didn't help his cousin and since it's not admissible in court, he doesn't have much use for them.

He says he wants his family and friends to know he didn't commit this crime and he has a message for Deandre's family, too. "I'm sorry this happened to them. I hope they don't take it out on me because I'm sorry for them. That's all I can say." Of course, the little boy is back with his family, safe and sound. Police detectives can't respond directly to what Berry told us, but they do say they're confident with the evidence they've gathered.

Police plan to meet with the District Attorney's office about getting charges filed against all four suspects.