Van Zandt County man accused in kidnapping-for-ransom scheme makes court appearance

Van Zandt County man accused in kidnapping-for-ransom scheme makes court appearance
Austen Walker (Source: VZCO Jail)

CANTON, Texas (KLTV) - A Fruitvale man accused of kidnapping a girl in order to collect a ransom has made his first appearance in Van Zandt County court.

Austen Lyn Walker, 22, pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and smuggling of persons in District Judge Chris Davis' court Tuesday afternoon.

Walker and his attorney joined court through Zoom.

According to arrest affidavits, Walker and Courtney Odum lured the girl from her home in May, after the girl indicated she had access to the family safe. The girl was later rescued and Walker was arrested in Kentucky.

In the hearing, it was revealed the state and defense are waiting on documentation from federal authorities for discovery.

Davis set Walker’s next hearing for Nov. 10 at 1:30.

Odum is scheduled for a court appearance on Thursday.

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