Stobert Holt Convicted In The Kidnapping And Death Of Pilot Robert Wiles


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Stobert Holt Convicted In The Kidnapping And Death Of Pilot Robert Wiles

By Steve Hall

February 1, 2012 - On Tuesday, Stobert Lindell Holt was convicted of manslaughter by a Polk County Florida jury after being initially charged with first-degree murder of Robert Arthur Wiles the son of Wiles' family's aviation maintenance business. 

Back on April 1, 2008, Wiles disappeared from his fathers business, National Flight Services, an aircraft maintenance company located at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Florida. Wiles, age 26 at the time, was employed with the company as a business development manager and aircraft pilot. 

Two days after Wiles disappearance, the family received a ransom text note requesting $750,000 for his son's safe return. The family attempted to drop of the ransom money but no one picked it up the money and Wiles was never heard from again. 

However, no further demands were ever made on the ransom and his body was never found. Wiles? car was located at the family business, and he had missed a flight from Orlando to Dallas scheduled the day after his disappearance. Holt was a former employee as operations manager with National Flight Services at the time. 

Although Wiles body was never found the FBI investigation revealed Wiles was killed and they believe Holt was involved. The FBI analyzed cell phone records and to their discovery after Wiles? went missing his cell phone was used to send to emails and then send a text message to his father which lead authorities to Holt. Holt was arrested in December 2009.

Thomas and Pamela Wiles said they had hoped their son was alive. The family offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case. 


On Monday lawyers most of the day giving closing augments before the jury. Assistant State Attorney Cass Castillo insisted Holt was involved however a great deal of evidences offered was circumstantial. Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen after two hours of jury deliberations he allowed the jurors to go home for the day. On Tuesday the Polk County jury, after deliberating for four hours found Holt guilty of extortion and making written threats to kill or do bodily harm to someone and on the first-degree murder charge the jury found Holt guilty of manslaughter. He was acquitted of kidnapping.

Upon the reading of the guilty verdict the Wiles? family asked Holt to tell them where the body of their son was. "I don't think he (Holt) will do that because I don't think he cares," said the father, Robert Wiles. Holt faces up to 45 years in prison.

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