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Florala man jailed for kidnapping

A Florala man was arrested Monday for allegedly kidnapping and holding his wife and three children at gunpoint.

Chief Sonny Bedsole said law enforcement was dispatched to the home of Robert Gene Yingst after his wife alleged that on Thursday, Yingst held the family against their will for more than 14 hours, threatened to kill her and then himself.

“While Mrs. Yingst was at the police department filing a report (Monday), her husband sent threatening text messages describing how he was going to kill the family pets, which upset her and the children and alarmed me,” Bedsole said.

Bedsole said he was able to get a warrant, which was served with the assistance of the Covington County Sheriff’s Office, the Lockhart Police Department and the Andalusia Police Department.

Bedsole said Yingst was taken into custody and charged with one count of second-degree kidnapping and harassment. An additional three counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of second-degree sexual abuse are also pending against Yingst.

Bedsole said the sexual abuse charge is unrelated to this specific incident, and that Yingst is currently on probation for second-degree murder conviction in Oklahoma.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Victor Yingst as the suspect. The Star-News apologizes for the error.