Mother says she forgave man who held boy in bunker - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Mother says she forgave man who held boy in bunker

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Ethan and his mother met with Governor Robert Bentley for about 30 minutes on Wednesday. Source: Office of Governor Robert Bentley Ethan and his mother met with Governor Robert Bentley for about 30 minutes on Wednesday. Source: Office of Governor Robert Bentley
Former child hostage Ethan plays under a desk during his visit with Governor Bentley. Source: Office of Governor Robert Bentley Former child hostage Ethan plays under a desk during his visit with Governor Bentley. Source: Office of Governor Robert Bentley

By RUSS BYNUM
Associated Press

The mother of an Alabama boy held hostage for days in an underground bunker by a man says she forgave her son's captor early in the standoff and asked authorities not to harm him.

Jennifer Kirkland says she believes 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes took care of her son, Ethan, "to the best of his abilities" before FBI agents entered the bunker and killed Dykes on the sixth day of the standoff. Kirkland spoke in an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw that aired Wednesday on the "Dr. Phil Show."

Kirkland says her son witnessed what authorities described as the fatal shooting of the boy's school bus driver, which opened the standoff. She says the boy passed out and Dykes carried him off the bus, taking him to the bunker.

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