ANTIOCH -- The 24-year-old father accused of kidnapping his young daughter this week will only face misdemeanor charges, police said.

Lt. Diane Aguinaga of the Antioch Police Department said Joshua Benton was released from the County Jail in Martinez on Thursday after victims refused to cooperate with the investigation.

As a result, Benton will only face misdemeanor charges, though police did not immediately specify what those charges would be.

Benton, of Antioch, turned himself in at 6 p.m. Monday, roughly 8 hours after he left with his daughter following an argument with the girl's mother, police said.

Authorities issued a statewide Amber Alert on Monday while searching for 11-month-old Justice Alasheia Benton.

Police said the elder Benton fired one shot into the air from a handgun before leaving in a minivan possibly driven by another person. Police tracked down Benton based on tips, and as officers closed in on him, he handed the child off to relatives and fled on foot, according to police.

Benton's mother, Earlene Norbert, later disputed the police account of the events.

Check back for updates.

Contact David DeBolt at ddebolt@bayareanewsgroup.com. Contact Katie Nelson at knelson@bayareanewsgroup.com.



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