A man from Central Illinois was sentenced to 48 years in prison for the death of another man during a kidnapping.
Danny Smith Jr., a 30-year-old from Peoria, was given a prison sentence of 48 years after the death of 41-year-old Maunds Bryant of Normal Illinois. Smith allegedly kidnapped Bryant to steal Bryant’s recent lottery winnings. Bryant and his family won $420,000 from the Illinois State Lottery. After the abduction, Smith demanded $25,000 in ransom.
Smith, according to prosecutors, kidnapped Bryant and Bryant’s stepfather. During the course of the crime, Bryant fell. He sustained a head injury from which he later died.
A criminal defense lawyer in Chicago has the experience to help if you or a family member is involved in a kidnapping case. They will work with you to minimize your sentencing and provide expert legal guidance.
What is Kidnapping?
Kidnapping is the criminal act of transporting or taking another individual against his or her will. Contrary to what is portrayed in movies, this crime is mostly committed in connection with a dispute involving child custody.
Individuals can be charged with kidnapping if they willingly and knowingly restrained another individual with the intent of:
- Holding the victim as an involuntary servant
- Holding the victim as a shield or hostage
- Holding the victim for ransom
- Inflicting physical injuries or death
- Sexually assaulting the victim or
- Aiding others in the commission of a kidnapping or another felony
Periodically, the term abduction is used when the victim is female. The term kidnapping is also used when the victim is a child and the kidnapper has the intent of permanently keeping that child. But the terms kidnapping and abduction are applied to the same crime.
It is important to note a person can still be charged with kidnapping if the child gives consent if the child’s legal parent or guardian does not give permission.
Further Details and Penalties for Kidnapping
Under Illinois Law, charges of kidnapping are serious, categorized as felonies with the possibility of long-term imprisonment. It can be prosecuted under both federal and state law as a felony if the individual is transferred across state lines. In many cases kidnapping charges accompany other criminal acts including rape, robbery, sexual assault, and murder.
There are various forms of kidnapping:
- Human trafficking
- Sexual predator
- Kidnapping for ransom or extortion
A deeper definition of kidnapping is knowingly and secretly confining a victim against his or her will by using threats of force or actual force. Or using fraud, deceit, or enticement to cajole one person into going from one location to another for the purpose of holding that person against his or her will.
Aggravated kidnapping includes all of the above, but has the additional offense(s) of:
- Holding the victim for ransom
- Holding a mentally disabled person
- Holding a victim under 13 years of age
- Being armed with a dangerous weapon
- Concealing your identity to commit the crime
- Inflicting great bodily harm upon the victim or
- Committing another felony during the course of the kidnapping
Under state law, kidnapping carries a prison term of three to seven years. Regarding aggravated kidnapping, that prison sentence is six to 30 years, but an additional 15 to 25 years can be given to the defendant depending on the magnitude of the crime.
A second conviction of aggravated kidnapping can carry a life sentence in prison, restitution to the victim, and up to $25,000 in fines.
A Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago can Help
Attorney David Freidberg will work with investigators to gather evidence to support your innocence. If your future and freedom are on the line, you do not have a minute to spare.
The laws involving kidnapping charges are complex and difficult to comprehend. Work with an attorney who can cover every aspect to maximize your chances of avoiding a felony conviction.
Call (312) 560-7100 today to discuss your case or schedule your free consultation.
(image courtesy of Simon Migai)