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Jury selection begins in Portsmouth man's attempted kidnapping trial
BRENTWOOD - Jury selection began Monday for a Portsmouth man charged with trying to kidnap a woman who was getting out of her car outside of an Ocean State Job Lot store.
James Perry, 37, is headed to trial on charges of attempted kidnapping and criminal restraint for allegedly forcing the woman back into the car on Dec. 14 at the store's parking lot on Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth.
Perry allegedly brandished what appeared to be a handgun when he ordered the women to get back in her car, according to prosecutors. Opening arguments are expected to begin Wednesday in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Perry, who is being held at the Rockingham County jail, appeared for jury selection in a white button-down shirt and red tie.
He was led into the back entrance of the courtroom so jurors were unaware of his incarceration. It took police nearly a month to identify and arrest Perry and defense lawyers plan to challenge that evidence during the trial.
Police say Perry approached the woman around 1 p.m. The woman offered Perry money, but he refused and ordered her again into the vehicle, according to police. She was eventually able to escape and flee on foot after getting in the car with Perry, police said. The store's surveillance system captured footage of the assailant as he fled on foot to a wooded area behind the store, police said.
While searching for the suspect, police found a jacket they linked to Perry. The more serious charge - attempted kidnapping - is a Class A felony, punishable by up to 7½ to 15 years in state prison. Perry was arrested Jan. 4 at the county jail in Brentwood where he was being detained on unrelated charges.
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