Registered sex offender charged with kidnapping 6-year-old indicted on attempted murder charge

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Douglas Nelson Edwards
Douglas Nelson Edwards

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A grand jury has indicted 47-year-old Douglas Nelson Edwards on several new charges, including attempted murder, in connection with the September kidnapping and sexual assault of a 6-year-old from a driveway in Monkey Junction.

Edwards, of 302 Patalanda Road in Wilmington, was originally charged with first-degree kidnapping and two counts of indecent liberties with a child in connection with the Sept. 14 child abduction case in Wilmington. On Monday, a New Hanover County grand jury returned indictments on additional felony charges in the case, including statutory sex offense with a child by an adult, statutory rape of a child by an adult, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and attempted first-degree murder.

According to New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon, a man on a black moped snatched the child from the driveway of a home. Local and federal law enforcement agencies took part in the search for the 6-year-old. Just hours after an Amber Alert was issued for the abducted child, the child was located at about 10 a.m. Sept. 15, in a wooded area off River Road and reunited with family at the hospital.

Edwards was arrested shortly after on South College Road. Edwards is known to area law enforcement. Just over two decades ago, he was convicted of first-degree sexual offense, indecent liberties with a child and crimes against nature in New Hanover County. He was ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years in prison when he was convicted on May 30, 1996, according to prison records.

According to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, Edwards was 24 years old in October 1994 when he committed those offenses against the child victim, then a 6-year-old. He was required register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Edwards was also convicted of other felony charges in 2015, after his 2012 release, for crimes that included selling a schedule III controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver a schedule III controlled substance.

During his first court appearance in September, Judge Chad Hogston said Edwards faces a maximum punishment 231 months on charge of first-degree kidnapping and a 59-month maximum sentence on charge of taking indecent liberties with a child. His bond was set at $9 million secured.

But since his indictment on new charges in the case, Edwards bond has been raised to $11.3 million secured bond, according to records at the New Hanover Count Jail. The case is scheduled for an administrative session in New Hanover County Superior Court on Dec. 12.