Handyman kidnapping suspects appear in court

Chanelle Troedson

A hearing for a couple accused of luring a San Jose handyman to their Morgan Hill residence, kidnapping him and forcing him to perform home repairs was continued Friday. 

The next hearing for Jason DeJesus, 36, and Chanelle Troedson, 33, is scheduled as a plea hearing for March 22 at South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill. 

DeJesus and Troedson are each charged with kidnapping during a carjacking, kidnapping to commit robbery, battery causing serious bodily injury, assault by force likely and false imprisonment.

Both suspects have been in custody since their Dec. 3 arrest, and appeared in court Friday in jail jumpsuits and handcuffs. 

The charges are related to the Dec. 3 in which a 50-year-old handyman told police the two suspects lured him to their home on Caldwell Court in north Morgan Hill, threatened him, and forced him to make some repairs at the home. Later that day, the couple forced the victim to travel with them to a relative’s home in Santa Clara and perform more repairs on that home, police said. 

In fact, the confrontation began at the Santa Clara home a couple months earlier, when the victim performed work at the home, police said. The suspect’s relative only paid the victim for a portion of the work, resulting in a dispute over services rendered. 

On the way to the Santa Clara home Dec. 3, the suspects and victim – traveling in the victim’s truck – stopped for gas in San Jose, and the handyman escaped on foot and called police who arrived to the area and arrested DeJesus and Troedson, police said. 

The victim was not seriously injured during the incident, but police said as soon as he showed up at the home on Caldwell Court, the suspects immediately assaulted him, held him against his will and repeatedly threatened to kill him while forcing him to work on an appliance at the residence. 

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler was upset with the suspects’ attorney’s initial request at Friday’s hearing to wait eight weeks until the next hearing. Nadler wondered why the defendants needed that much time, and showed further disappointment that the suspects’ regular attorney could not be present at Friday’s hearing.

The defense attorney, who was filling in for DeJesus’ and Troedson’s regular attorney, said the case requires significantly more investigation due to the volume of charges and vast number of witnesses to the incident.