- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A Peoria man charged with kidnapping two people, possibly in hopes of claiming some of their recent lottery winnings, now faces murder charges stemming from the death of one of his alleged victims.

Danny Smith Jr., 28, faces five counts of first-degree murder, four counts of aggravated kidnapping and other felony counts, The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported (https://bit.ly/2i02g7A ).

Authorities say Smith forced his way into a Normal home on Dec. 22 and kidnapped 41-year-old Maunds Bryant and his father, Ray Magsby.

Police say Bryant suffered a head injury during the abduction and was found critically injured in the basement of a Peoria house. He died Dec. 25.

His father managed to escape through a basement window of that house and contacted police.

The murder charges state that Smith caused Bryant’s death while in the process of committing aggravated kidnapping, home invasion, residential burglary, armed robbery and while armed with a firearm.

Authorities say Smith demanded a ransom from Bryant’s mother and may have targeted the family because they won the lottery last summer.

A warrant issued Friday seeks a $2 million bond for Smith, who’s being held in the Peoria County Jail on $300,000 bond. It was unclear if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.


Information from: The Pantagraph, https://www.pantagraph.com

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