Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case #11CF2844: October 18, 2013
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to life in state prison for kidnapping a toddler, who was strapped into a car seat, during a carjacking in Aliso Viejo. James Christopher Corr, 36, Mission Viejo, was found guilty by a jury Aug. 13, 2013, of one felony count each of first degree robbery, aggravated assault, carjacking, kidnapping, kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking, kidnapping child under 14 years old, child abuse, second degree vehicle burglary, hit and run with injury, first degree residential burglary, vandalism over $400, and one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer. His sentencing enhancements for non-accomplice present during a residential burglary and a prior prison conviction in Nevada for leaving the scene of an accident in 2005 were found true. Corr was sentenced to five years and eight months plus life in state prison, making him eligible to seek parole only after having served 12 years.
Between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2011, Corr broke into a Honda Accord parked in a lot in front of a business in Aliso Viejo and stole a purse and its contents, including credit cards. He then fled the scene.
Shortly after 8:00 a.m., Corr walked into a nearby neighborhood. Victim Suzanne C., who was seven months pregnant, was preparing to leave her home and was in her garage with the garage door open. The victim put her Saint Bernard in the caged-off rear area of her Volvo sport utility vehicle (SUV) and then put her 2-year-old son, John Doe, in his child safety seat in the back seat of the car behind the driver’s seat. She placed her keys in the car and left the driver’s door and door next to her son open as she walked into her home through the internal garage access door for a matter of seconds to get her son’s sippy cup.
In the few seconds that Suzanne C. was inside her home, Corr got into the driver’s seat of her car. The victim walked out and began screaming at Corr to let her get her son as John Doe cried in the back seat. The victim attempted to remove her son from his car seat through the open door, but the defendant backed out of the garage and knocked Suzanne C. to the ground with the SUV. He ran over her foot as he rapidly reversed, leaving tire skid marks from his speed.
Corr hit the frame of the victim’s garage door and crashed into a neighbor’s garage, causing the open rear door next to the crying toddler to break and hang off. Corr fled in the stolen vehicle with the knowledge that John Doe was in the back as Suzanne C. chased after the defendant screaming for her son.
A neighbor, who witnessed the carjacking and kidnapping, followed the defendant in her own car. Corr was speeding and driving erratically as he attempted to flee, including running through an intersection on a red light.
The defendant drove into an adjoining neighborhood and jumped out of the car without putting it in park with the engine still running. The car with the child and dog inside ran up a curb, nearly hitting a tree, before coming to a stop. The pursuing neighbor stopped to help John Doe as Corr fled on foot.
The defendant ran away and jumped over fences of homes into residents’ back yards. He took pruning shears from one home, removed the screen of a sliding door, and unsuccessfully attempted to pry open the locked door in an effort to escape and get inside the house.
Corr again ran away, at which time he was spotted by a responding Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputy. Corr refused to stop as the deputy chased him. The defendant was ultimately caught during the foot chase and arrested. At the time of his arrest, Corr was in possession of one of the stolen credit cards from the earlier car burglary in his pants pocket.
At the sentencing today, the victim told the court that she’ll never forget the pain and anguish this crime inflicted on her and how having her son violently taken from her ripped her heart out of her chest. She added that the gaping wound will never completely heal.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Aleta Bryant of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701