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How two misdemeanors in Louisiana sent bounty hunters after a woman in Missouri

A freeze frame from footage taken from a body camera worn by bounty hunter Wayne Lozier on May 9, 2019. Officers from the Sullivan, Missouri police department responded to a 911 call at a truck stop. They questioned Rebecca Carman, who was barefoot and in chains, but ultimately did not intervene. A jury in September found Lozier guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy.
Bayou Boyz Fugitive Recovery
A freeze frame from footage taken from a body camera worn by bounty hunter Wayne Lozier on May 9, 2019. Officers from the Sullivan, Missouri police department responded to a 911 call at a truck stop. They questioned Rebecca Carman, who was barefoot and in chains, but ultimately did not intervene. A jury in September found Lozier guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy.

It took a jury less than two hours to find bounty hunter Wayne Lozier guilty of kidnapping.

A dramatic case of bounty hunters, bail and body cameras concluded last week in a federal courtroom in St. Louis. After deliberating for less than two hours, a jury found Wayne Lozier, owner of Bayou Boyz Fugitive Recovery, guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy.

The charges stemmed from a May 2019 incident in which Lozier and a partner dragged a woman out of a home in St. Peters. Their target, Rebecca Carman, was wanted on misdemeanor charges in Louisiana.

Despite the minor crimes, the bounty hunters went to significant lengths to capture her, even dragging her back to an SUV when she asked bystanders for help at a truck stop in Sullivan. Lozier filmed the incident on his body camera. The footage was eventually introduced as evidence at his trial.

Katie Kull, courts reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, covered the trial from the courtroom. Her reporting on the case appeared on the paper’s front page on Monday.

Lozier “turned over his body camera footage to the police,” Kull noted on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “[The police] didn't need to seize it or anything — which I think speaks to how much he believed that what he was doing was right.”

But Lozier had failed to obtain a $150 license required to legally operate as a recovery agent in Missouri. Despite Lozier’s treatment of Carman, who was kept shackled and barefoot during her journey, the license would have made the operation legal.

“He believed he didn't need one,” Kull said of the license. “He had done research online, apparently, and looked up the laws and saw some article that said that there were no laws regarding surety recovery agents in Missouri. So it wasn't a problem. And that's what he believed and maintained throughout the trial.”

He may have believed it wasn’t a problem, but the jury in St. Louis didn’t. A second bounty hunter involved, Jody Sullivan, has pleaded guilty to similar charges and is scheduled for sentencing in December. Lozier will be sentenced in January.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri noted that the charges of kidnapping and conspiracy both carry punishments “up to life in prison.”

To hear more from the Post-Dispatch’s Katie Kull, and to listen to a portion of the audio captured by Wayne Lozier’s body camera, listen to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify or Google Podcast or by clicking the play button below.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Ulaa Kuziez is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org.
Copyright 2023 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Danny Wicentowski