Petersburg attorney and wife indicted by grand jury on abduction charges

Petersburg attorney and wife indicted by grand jury on abduction charges
Charles Vanevera Hardenbergh and Mari Liza Hardenbergh were indicted by a Grand Jury Feb. 6 in connection to an incident in July 2019.

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - A Petersburg attorney and his wife are once again facing abduction charges in connection to an incident in July 2019.

Charles and Mari Liza Hardenbergh were indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 6 for charges including abduction, destruction of property, grand larceny and malicious wounding.

The charges stem back to an incident on July 21, 2019, where court documents stated a female employee was riding in a limo traveling from Richmond to Petersburg with the Hardenberghs when Charles jumped on top of her and held a pillow over her head.

The woman said Mari Hardenbergh beat her in the head and face while the pillow was held over her head. The employee’s statement goes on to say that she eventually got out of the limo and walked to her Petersburg home.

At that time, Petersburg Police arrested and charged Charles Hardenbergh with trespassing, assault, breaking and entering, abduction, destruction of property and obstructing communication. Mari Hardenbergh was charged with trespassing, assault, breaking and entering, abduction and larceny.

In November and December of 2019, all of the charges the Hardenberghs faced were set aside, however there was a chance the charges could be brought back at a later date.

Charles Hardenbergh was indicted on charges of malicious wounding, abduction, entering a house to commit assault and battery, damaging a phone line to prevent calling 911, and destruction of property with intent. Mari Hardenbergh was indicted on charges of abduction, entering a house to commit assault and battery, grand larceny, and malicious wounding.

According to a biography online, Charles Hardenbergh’s practice is dedicated to criminal traffic defense. He has been an outspoken critic of reckless driving by speed laws as applied in Virginia, and he stridently opposes the imposition of any “mandatory minimum” prison time for alcohol-related and other substance offenses.

The employee accusing the Hardenberghs says she has been a friend, volunteer and driven the couple since 2016. She says she has “acted” as an employee for the couple since February 2017.

The Hardenberghs are scheduled for another court hearing Feb. 25 where counsel will be appointed.

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