Casino Kidnapping Suspects Plead Not Guilty

One suspect charged with robbing a K-Mart three days after man went missing

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010  |  Updated 9:42 PM EDT
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<a title=Craig Arno and Jessica Kisby say they're not responsible for the disappearance of Martin Caballero." />

NBC Philadelphia - Ted Greenberg

Craig Arno and Jessica Kisby say they're not responsible for the disappearance of Martin Caballero.

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The couple accused of carjacking and kidnapping a North Jersey man as he parked his car inside an Atlantic City casino say they're not responsible.

Craig Arno, 44, and Jessica Kisby, 24, pleaded not guilty inside an Atlantic County courtroom Wednesday for their connection to the disappearance of Martin Caballero.

Caballero, 47, went missing while parking his car inside the self park garage at the Trump Taj Mahal on May 21, police say. He had just dropped his family off at the resort's entrance.

Prosecutors allege Arno and Kisby carjacked the man inside the garage, withdrew money from his bank account and then set the car ablaze some 50-miles away in a remote parking lot.

Caballero was missing for more than a week until a body believed to be his was found behind a Hamilton Township, N.J. shopping center on Sunday, police say. The North Jersey man was still missing when police arrested the suspects.

Investigators have a sizable amount of evidence stacked against the duo. Surveillance video captured a man believed to be Arno using Caballero's ATM card and driving his car hours after he disappeared.

There is also security footage of Kisby allegedly buying gasoline at a Pleasantville, N.J. gas station. That gas was allegedly used to torch Caballero's car and police discovered serious burns to Arno's hands, face and chest.

But defense attorneys aren't convinced that the prosecution has a strong case.

"From what I understand, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence out there, however I’d wait for the whole story to be written in this case,” Kisby's attorney Steve Scheffler said Wednesday.

And while a body believed to be Caballeros was found, officials have not released a cause of death and as of yet Arno and Kisby are not being held responsible.

Both suspects have lengthy criminal records. Kisby, the mother of a 5-year-old girl, has been in and out of jail several times recently.

Arno was found guilty in the death of a woman when he was a teen and has served time in state and federal prison for theft and fraud. He was also charged Wednesday with allegedly robbing a K-Mart in Pleasantville at knifepoint three days after Caballero disappeared.

His bail has been increased to $500,000 cash and he remains in prison. Kisby also is still behind bars on $400,000 cash bail. A bail hearing is scheduled for next week in the case.

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