October 22, 2021

Kidnap suspects in court

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Donavin M. Fink Jr. is escorted into Cortland City Court Thursday. Fink and Devin M. Hines appeared in court for a bail review. They are charged with kidnapping and threatening a Cortland teenager.

Two men accused of kidnapping and threatening an 18-year-old man — who had earlier given police a statement about one of them in a separate assault case — appeared Thursday in Cortland City Court for a review of their bail.

Donavin M. Fink Jr., 19, of 165 Homer Ave., Apt. 2, Cortland, and Devin M. Hines, 19, of 476 Buffalo Hill Road, Apt. 2, Brooktondale, were arrested Monday and Tuesday, respectively, for their alleged involvement in a Dec. 19 kidnapping and threatening of Jordan C. Whitney, 18, of Pomeroy St., Cortland, who had witnessed and told police about Fink’s alleged involvement in a Dec. 11 fight with Hunter R. Smyth, 18, of 51 Clinton Ave., Cortland.

Fink was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree conspiracy, third-degree intimidating a victim or witness, felonies; criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, second-degree menacing, misdemeanors.

Hines was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping and fourth-degree conspiracy, felonies.

A decision on Fink’s bail was postponed by Judge Elizabeth A. Burns as the court was not able to provide Fink with an attorney for Thursday’s appearance.

A counsel appearance for Fink was scheduled for this morning by Burns. Burns set Hines’s bail set at $10,000 cash or bond after the District Attorney’s Office originally wanted the bail set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond as it thought the charges were appropriate for the bail.

Hines’s attorney, Edward Goehler, noted Hines’s arrest-free record and his close residence to Cortland in his reasoning.

“He’s never been in trouble before,” Goehler said. “He was more of a follower than instigator.”

Hines is due back in City Court in January.

Fink harassed and threatened Whitney after Whitney told police of Fink’s involvement in a Dec. 11 fight, Whitney said in his Dec. 23 police statement.

Fink and Hines came to Whitney’s house on Dec. 19 and Fink told Whitney “if I (Whitney) ever gave a statement against him (Fink) again that he would stab me and kill me,” Whitney said in the police statement.

Fink threatened Whitney with a knife and tied Whitney’s hands behind his back with the cord from an Xbox controller before taking a shirt and using it to blindfold Whitney, Whitney said in his statement to police.

Whitney was taken to Hines’s Dodge Durango and the three drove off. “You better stop snitching or things are going to get worse for you,” Fink told Whitney, according to Whitney’s statement to police.

The sport utility vehicle eventually stopped, and Fink and Hines took Whitney out of the vehicle and wrapped a chain around his feet, threatening to drag Whitney down the road.

After begging for the two men not drag him, Whitney was put back in the Durango and taken to Hines’s camper in Slaterville.

Once there, Whitney was thrown into a creek for 10 to 15 minutes before being taken out and brought into the camper, where he was untied. The three spent the night in the camper.

Hines denied that Fink had threatened to tie Whitney up, he said in his statement to police.

The next day, Fink and Hines took Whitney back to his house, where he immediately went to his cousin’s house. He returned to his home Dec. 23.

His friend, Joshua Moore, said Fink and Hines came to the house on Dec. 21 and that Fink beat Moore up and damaged Whitney’s room, Moore said in his statement to police. Whitney confirmed this after going into his room and seeing the “door had been kicked in and broken, and my glass shelf was broken,” he said in his police statement.

Smyth, who police say was the victim of the first assault, told police that on Dec. 11 he received a message from Josh Bovay, a friend of Fink, that Bovay wanted to buy some marijuana from Smyth. When they went to meet that night, Bovay started punching Smyth before Fink and another man appeared and also starting hitting Smyth.

A friend of Smyth, Riley Foster, eventually arrived and broke up Fink, Bovay and Austin Marshall — a friend of Bovay — before walking Smyth to his home, where he contacted his stepfather and was taken to Gutherie Cortland Medical Center for a broken nose, a cut on his nose that needed stitches and multiple bruises and a concussion, Smyth said in his statement to police.

In his Dec. 11 statement to police, Whitney said Fink, Marshall and Bovay were all at his house that night when they got into a fight with Smyth as they were leaving.