On August 6, 2017, Schanda Handley was kidnapped at gunpoint from her home in Lafayette, Louisiana. Although a sheriff’s deputy quickly saved her, Schanda believed her then-husband was behind the incident. “48 Hours: The Kidnapping of Schanda Handley” chronicles the horrific incident and follows the ensuing investigation that found incriminating evidence against Schanda’s ex-husband, Michael Handley. If you’re intrigued by the details and want to know Michael Handley’s current whereabouts, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Michael Handley?
Schanda and her then-husband, Michael, were very happy in the days following their marriage. The two even welcomed their daughter, Isabella Cumberland, into this world and seemed to be in it for the long haul. However, trouble soon crept in, and as Schanda’s relationship with Michael soured, the two decided that splitting up would be the best course of action. However, the show mentioned that even after being separated, Schanda would feel harassed by her ex-husband, which led her to get a restraining order against him. At the time of the abduction, their daughter, Isabella, was staying with Schanda in her Lafayette. Louisiana, and she was an eyewitness to the whole incident.
On the afternoon of August 6, 2017, Schanda and Isabella were spending quality time together when they heard a knock at the door. As Schanda was waiting for a package, she found two guys who looked like delivery guys on her porch and went to answer the door. As soon as she opened the door, the men pulled out a gun and held the woman at gunpoint. Although Schanda cried out for help, Isabella was helpless as she didn’t want her mother to be hurt. Wasting no time, the men handcuffed Schanda, put a bag over her head and forced her into a van before driving off.
While the men forced Schanda to take pills in the van, they even threatened her with sexual abuse and death when she did not cooperate. However, very soon Deputy Chad Martin noticed the van was going too fast and tried to stop it at a traffic stop. Afraid of getting caught, the kidnappers rushed off with the deputy in pursuit, and eventually they left the highway for a dirt road. Due to recent rains, the dirt road was extremely muddy and soon the van got stuck in the mud. By the time the deputy reached the vehicle, the kidnappers had already left, but he was able to save Schanda and get her to safety. The following day, the police recovered the bodies of the kidnappers and explained that they had drowned while trying to escape.
Although Schanda made it home safely, she couldn’t get the ominous feeling out of her mouth. She even believed that her ex-husband, Michael, was responsible for the crime and asked the police to investigate the matter. Sure enough, when authorities looked into Michael’s past, they discovered that he had a rocky relationship with Schanda. Also, in addition to tracing the rented van to Michael’s name, police learned that he purchased the handcuffs used by the kidnappers. Sadly, Michael had already gone into hiding by then, but police staged a statewide manhunt for him and apprehended their suspect four days after the murder.
Where is Michael Handley now?
Following his arrest, Michael Handley was charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder as well as multiple counts of kidnapping. However, as the police had no forensic evidence linking him to the crime, they continued their investigation while Michael awaited trial. Amazingly, it was Schanda who found a valuable lead when he found a video recording that showed Michael plotting the kidnapping and even speaking with Schanda’s captors, who were identified as Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes.
Using the video as evidence alongside Schanda’s testimony, the prosecution built their case and eventually got Michael to accept a plea deal. Pursuant to the agreement, Michael pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree kidnapping as well as one count of attempted second degree kidnapping and was sentenced to 35 years in prison without parole in 2021. Unfortunately, current prison records do not mention Michael. where he is, but since he is not yet eligible for parole, we believe he remains incarcerated in a Louisiana prison.
Read more: How did kidnappers Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes die?