Lawrence and Schanda Handley married in 2006. At the time, Lawrence was a self-made millionaire living in Louisiana. He made his millions through his endeavors in the technology industry and by launching several supplement companies. Despite his monumental success – or perhaps in conjunction with it – Lawrence used and abused alcohol and cocaine. By 2015, allegations of domestic abuse, stalking, and drug abuse surfaced in the midst of the couple’s divorce.
In 2017, Schanda filed multiple restraining orders against Lawrence. This is when Lawrence concocted a baffling scheme to win Schanda back. Lawrence hired two 27-year-old men to stage a kidnapping of Schanda so he could swoop in and save the day. Unsurprisingly, the plan did not go as Lawrence had hoped.
On August 6, 2017, Sylvester Bracey and Arsenio Haynes disguised themselves as appliance store workers and forced their way into Lawrence and Schanda’s house at gunpoint. They grabbed Schanda and threw a bag over her head, then dumped her in the back of their rental van. After speeding off, Bracey and Haynes were spotted by law enforcement trying to avoid a traffic jam by illegally driving on the shoulder of the road. Law enforcement attempted to pull them over for a traffic violation, but Bracey and Haynes sped off, initiating a high-speed chase. Eventually, the rental van was found abandoned and stuck in a swampy road. Bracey and Haynes drowned in a canal they had tried to cross in an attempt to escape.
It isn’t clear how Lawrence learned the plan had gone awry, but he decided to flee and police found him five days later in a Slidell, Louisiana hotel attempting to charter a plane. While investigating Lawrence’s misguided plan to win Schanda back, detectives found evidence of how he planned the abduction, including a checklist he had written to organize the entire scheme. In court, Lawrence was forced to abandon his insanity plea when the courts found him competent to stand trial. Earlier this year, Lawrence received a sentence of 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree kidnapping and a count of attempted second-degree kidnapping.