4

Kidnapping Charge Dropped Against Boyfriend In Lilly Baumann Case

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

A kidnapping charge involving the case of an unhinged Broward mother who defied a court order and stole 2-year-old Lilly Baumann away from her father has been dropped.

Last week, New Times reported that the Broward State Attorney's Office had decided not to go forward with a kidnapping charge aimed at Megan Everett, Lilly's mom — despite the fact that the young woman spent more than a year underground with Lilly. Now it appears Megan's boyfriend and coconspirator, Carlos Lesters, will also duck a felony kidnapping charge, although both Everett and Lesters face other criminal charges.  

Lesters was arrested only days after law enforcement in North Florida discovered Everett and Lilly following a national broadcast of a CNN show about the case. Lesters — a YouTube provocateur who used the internet platform to broadcast his right-wing, anti-Obama, pro-Confederacy worldview — was long suspected by Lilly's father, Robert, and Everett's family as having a hand in the disappearance. Once Everett began a relationship with Lesters, she began parroting his antigovernment screeds. When she bolted with Lilly, she left behind a note claiming she didn't want to let a judge decide whether her daughter would be vaccinated. After the kidnapping, Lesters claimed he had no knowledge of the whereabouts of mother and daughter — a lie, according to authorities now. 

After she was discovered last month, Everett was charged with felony kidnapping, interference with custody, and removal of a minor against a court order. The kidnapping charge was dropped: Under Florida law, there's no precedent for a kidnapping charge against a parent, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.

Now, it appears that the charge against Lesters (who is not related to Lilly) has also been dropped, according to the Broward Court Clerk's website. 

We've reached out to the state attorney for comment on the dropped kidnapping charge (see below). Lesters is facing the additional two criminal charges: interference with custody and remove/conceal a minor. He'll be arraigned on September 9. It also appears Lesters has bonded out before his court appearance. Check back to New Times for more updates on the unfolding case. 

UPDATE: An explanation from state attorney spokesperson Kim Fontana: 

Carlos Lesters assisted Megan Everett and is, therefore, a principal in what she did. Since we dropped the kidnapping charge against Everett for the reason we gave you previously, the kidnapping charge against Lesters was also dropped. The appropriate charges of Interference with Custody and Removing Minor from state were filed against Lesters as well.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.