Sex offender sentenced to prison for enticing girl through text messages

Friday, May 21, 2010
Larry E. Windeknecht

HILLSBORO, Mo. -- A registered sex offender pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday in a Jefferson County court for trying to lure a 13-year-old girl to Capaha Park for sex in September.

Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said Larry Eugene Windeknecht was scheduled to appear at a pretrial conference in Hills­boro, where the case was being heard on a change of venue. But Windeknecht pleaded guilty and waived a presentencing investigation, Swingle said.

Windeknecht was arrested Sept. 11 at Capaha Park. He had gone to the park to meet a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl whom he had arranged a sexual encounter with via text messages. But Windeknecht had actually been exchanging messages with a Cape Girardeau police detective, Darren Estes, and was arrested and charged with attempted enticement of a child.

Police began monitoring Windeknecht's text messages after the girl's mother reported her daughter had been receiving unwanted messages from a phone that was traced to Winde­knecht, Estes testified at Windeknecht's preliminary hearing in October. Winde­knecht obtained the girl's telephone number after the mother's boyfriend used the girl's phone to call him, Estes said.

Swingle said Friday that Windeknecht must serve at least five years of his sentence under Missouri law, but that he will likely be in prison for the entire seven-year sentence.

Pertinent addresses:

Hillsboro, MO

Capaha Park, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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