Sex offender convicted of kidnapping girl, 6, found chained to tree

Douglas Edwards

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A convicted sex offender accused of abducting a 6-year-old North Carolina girl who was found chained to a tree last year has been convicted of multiple charges. 

The StarNews of Wilmington reports a jury found 47-year-old Douglas Nelson Edwards guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, assault with a deadly weapon and statutory sexual assault, within two hours Wednesday. He was found not guilty of sending letters to obstruct the case.

Testimony said Edwards was riding a mo-ped Sept. 14, 2016, when he snatched the first-grader. 

An Amber Alert was issued and authorities were searching in a wooded area about two miles from her home when a K-9 officer helped locate her, CBS North Carolina reported. A witness, Jason Mehalko, told local news outlets he loaned deputies a saw which they used to free the girl from the chain.

The child described the sexual assault in remote testimony Monday.   

Edwards testified Tuesday that he has no memory of the abduction, and denied molesting her or intending that she die.

Jurors return Thursday for the sentencing phase.

Edwards was convicted of first-degree sexual offense and indecent liberties with a minor in 1996, the station reports.  Edwards was 24 when the offenses occurred in 1994.

He reportedly spent 16 years in prison and was released in May 2012.