Peoria Man Pleads Guilty in Kidnapping Death of Normal Man

Sep 5, 2018

A Peoria resident has pleaded guilty to murder charges in the death of a man during a kidnapping that authorities say stemmed from trying to steal money from recent lottery winnings.

Thirty-year-old Danny Smith Jr. pleaded guilty during a Tuesday court hearing. He was charged in the December 2016 death of 41-year-old Maunds Bryant of Normal. He faces a prison term of between 20 and 60 years when he is sentenced Nov. 20.

Prosecutors say Smith kidnapped Bryant and his father and that Bryant died from a head injury suffered during a fall at the Peoria house where they were taken.

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