April 26, 2019

Bloomington Man Released From Venezuelan Prison

Todd Leininger was supposed to be released from a Venezuelan prison in November.  - Courtesy Barbara Leininger

Todd Leininger was supposed to be released from a Venezuelan prison in November.

Courtesy Barbara Leininger

Updated April 26 at 4:25 p.m.

The mother of a Bloomington man who's been imprisoned in Venezuela for nearly five years says he was released Thursday.

Police arrested Todd Leininger on charges of attempted murder and arms trafficking when he was visiting the country in 2014. The charges were later reduced to attempted homicide and concealment of a firearm. A court convicted him of the crimes, but in November ordered Leininger's release. But, Leininger remained in prison.

His mother contacted Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), and even wrote President Donald Trump for help. Young met with a representative from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government before conflict in the country escalated to try and get answers about why Leininger wasn't released. He said the government had several excuses for why Leininger was still in prison, but none of them were credible.

In a Facebook post Leininger's mother wrote Friday, she said she was on her way to Miami to pick her son up.

"Todd is now resting after his return," Barbara Leininger says in a statement. "The past few years have been tough and I look forward to this time with my son. I pray that there will come a day when no famiy will ever experience a situation like this again."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said Leininger was released from prison Wednesday. A family spokesperson says he was released Thursday.

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