Kidnapping for Ransom Ends in Felony Kidnapping Charges for Four Chicago Men

Kidnapping is a serious felony crime under Illinois law, and should not be taken lightly. Many Americans probably believe that kidnapping is what they see in the movies. That is, a person is tied up, put into the trunk of a car, and is then driven to a remote location against his or her will. However, under Illinois law, a person may be charged with kidnapping even if he or she did not transport the victim, but rather simply held the victim against his or her will.

A recent Chicago news story demonstrates the harsh realities of a criminal plan gone bad. According to, in late August, a teenager and three men allegedly kidnapped a man, and, after being caught, now face felony charges. The 31-year-old victim was leaving his home in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood at around 7:45am, when the four kidnappers allegedly forced him into a rental truck. The four men were wearing masks, and coerced the victim with a gun. In the truck, the four men bound the victim with duct tape to secure him, and then took him to the Northwest Side. At an empty storefront, the men allegedly called the victim’s relatives and demanded ransom money for his safe return.

The plan took a disappointing turn for the four men when detectives, who had conducted surveillance based on tracking the general location of the kidnappers, conducted a fake ransom drop and apprehended two of the men.  After that, law enforcement officers raided the storefront, rescued the victim, and arrested the other two kidnappers who had tried to hide.

38-year-old Billy Nelson, Nelson’s 17-year-old nephew, 22-year-old Jerry L. McCullum, and 23-year-old Lucus Prentiss, were each charged with felony kidnapping. The report notes that the four were due in court in late August.

According to 720 ILCS 5/10-1 the crime of kidnapping consists of knowingly and secretly confining another person against his or her will and by force, or threat of imminent force, carrying that person from one place to another with the intent to secretly confine the person against his or her will, or inducing another person to go from one place to another by enticing or deceiving that person. Kidnapping is a Class 2 felony charge, which is punishable by at least three years, and up to seven years, in prison.

Kidnapping Law in Illinois

Aggravated kidnapping, under 720 ILCS 5/10-2 is kidnapping when there are other factors present, such as kidnapping with the intent to obtain ransom, or kidnapping while wearing a hood or mask. Aggravated kidnapping is a Class X felony, which is punishable by an additional 15 to 20 years added to the prison term imposed by the court, depending on the aggravating factors.

If you have been charged with criminal kidnapping, or any other felony, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand the serious penalties and consequences that you face, and can help defend you. The attorneys at Goldman & Associates have successfully defended numerous criminal felony cases. Contact the offices of Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.

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