Gary Simpson tells judge he doesn't understand charges - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gary Simpson tells judge he doesn't understand charges

Gary Simpson (Source: TBI) Gary Simpson (Source: TBI)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

The man accused of abducting his 9-year-old niece on May 4 told a judge during his first court appearance that he does not understand why he is charged with kidnapping.

Gary Simpson, 58, who was arrested late Thursday, faces one count of especially aggravated kidnapping after police said he took Carlie Trent from her Rogersville, TN school under false pretenses. 

An Amber Alert was issued for Trent, prompting a national search for the young girl and her uncle-by-marriage.

Simpson was discovered by two men who were checking their property on Thursday. They held Simpson at gunpoint until police arrived. Trent was found safe and uninjured. 

During the search for the pair, police released surveillance video from a Rogersville bank that showed Simpson withdrawing money on the morning of May 4. Police said he then picked up Trent from school and took her to a local grocery store where he purchased non-perishable foods and paper products. 

Simpson shared custody of Carlie Trent and her sister while the girl's father was jailed on drug charges. He told a judge in court Monday that he does not get why he is being charged for something that the girlfriend of his niece's father also has done.

The judge appointed an attorney to defend Simpson, who is being held on $1 million bond pending a hearing next week.

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