Central IL man gets 48 years for death during kidnapping


    30-year-old Danny Smith Jr. of Peoria has been sentenced to 48 years in prison for the death of a man during a kidnapping that authorities say stemmed from trying to steal recent lottery winnings. (McLean County Jail)

    A central Illinois man has been sentenced to 48 years in prison for the death of a man during a kidnapping that authorities say stemmed from trying to steal recent lottery winnings.

    The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports 30-year-old Danny Smith Jr. of Peoria learned his punishment Tuesday after pleading guilty to felony murder in the December 2016 death of 41-year-old Maunds Bryant of Normal.

    Prosecutors say Smith kidnapped Bryant and his stepfather and that Bryant died from a head injury suffered during a fall while being kidnapped.

    Court documents say Bryant's family had won a $420,000 state lottery prize and Smith demanded a $25,000 ransom.

    A statement read by Bryant's sister, Juanita Bryant, said he suffered from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which left him unable to walk.

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