No gag order in case with Tampa couple charged with kidnapping - WFLA News Channel 8

No gag order in case with Tampa couple charged with kidnapping

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The Tampa couple charged with kidnapping their young boys and fleeing to Cuba waived their court appearance on Thursday. Joshua and Sharyn Hakken's disposition hearing was set for 8:30 a.m. at the Hillsborough County Courthouse.

The judge ruled a gag order would be premature at this time for attorneys and law enforcement involved in the case. Any case discovery will be on 30 day delay.

The Hakkens previously entered a written plea of not guilty to charges of kidnapping, child abuse and interfering with child custody.

Cole and Chase, ages 2 and 4, thought they went on a land, sea and air adventure. But investigators say their "vacation" was really a planned out abduction.

The Hakkens lost custody of Cole and Chase earlier this year in Louisiana after authorities found them in a hotel room with drugs and weapons.  A judge ordered custody of the boys to their maternal grandparents in April.

Investigators say the couple came up with an elaborate plan to get their boys back.  Joshua Hakken is accused of going to his mother-in-law's Tampa home and tying her up so he could kidnap the children.

According to the investigation report, the couple then boarded the kids onto a fully stocked sailboat, which they had just purchased, and headed to Cuba. Cuban authorities quickly spotted them after they arrived in Havana and notified US officials. The family was forced to fly back to Florida. 

Cole and Chase were reunited with their grandparents.  A Hillsborough County judge ordered Josh and Sharyn Hakken to be held in jail without bond and not to have any contact with the boys or the boys' grandparents.

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