Cleveland man who kidnapped son from Alabama wants released early from prison

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CLEVELAND – A man accused of taking his then-5-year-old son from an Alabama home in 2002 and creating a life for them in Cleveland under new identities is asking a judge to be released from prison early.

Bobby Hernandez, who pleaded guilty last year  to several charges, including kidnapping, was sentenced to four years in prison.

His attorney, Ralph DeFranco, filed a brief last month asking for judicial release.

He said Hernandez does not have a significant criminal history. Clearly the defendant understands and appreciates the gravity of this case and understands that he denied the child’s mother access to him for many years,” the motion states.

Hernandez’s son spoke at the sentencing hearing last year.

“Growing up without my mother was tough, but taking my father from me now is doing the same thing,” the teen told the judge at the time. “I don’t know what to say except don’t send my father to jail.”

The 53-year-old Hernandez was arrested in November  2015 after his son was applying for colleges and a guidance counselor learned his son was on the national registry of missing children.

His attorney said Hernandez resides with his fiancée, her three children of her own and a 3-year-old daughter. He was employed full-time at Traveler Custom Case Manufacturing before his arrest.

Former Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said Hernandez was abusive and lied to the boy’s mother as she spent years searching for her missing son.