Bond set at $500,000 for man arrested in kidnapping

Bond set at $500,000 for man arrested in kidnapping

URBANA — A Champaign County judge set bond at $500,000 Saturday for a Champaign man expected to be formally charged Monday with kidnapping.

Assistant State's Attorney Will Lynch gave Judge Heidi Ladd a few details of the almost seven-hour ordeal that a Lyft driver suffered, allegedly at the hands of Robert D. Jackson Jr., 32, early Thursday.

Lynch told the judge that the woman had finished her shift about 1:30 a.m. Thursday and was at the Circle K, 1101 N. Prospect Ave., C, when a man she later identified as Jackson approached her.

He told her he would pay to fill her car with gas if she gave him a ride. The woman agreed and headed toward an address in Champaign that he gave her.

Along the way, Lynch said, the rider "insisted" on learning the woman's last name, and at one point grabbed her by the neck with one hand and put a razor to it. Lynch said the man claimed that she was the sister of "someone who had snitched on him."

He then forced her out of the driver's seat and into the trunk, threatening to kill her if she made noise.

The woman told police that she was in the trunk for a long time and was aware that her car was moving.

Lynch said police in Vermilion County learned that the woman's car was involved in a hit-and-run accident in Tilton at 4:43 a.m. Thursday that heavily damaged her vehicle, apparently while she was in the trunk.

It wasn't until about 8:24 a.m. that the woman was found when a person heard noise coming from the car in the 600 block of West Harrison Street in Danville.

The woman was taken to a hospital to be checked out but had not suffered any serious physical injury, Lynch said.

Champaign police developed Jackson as a suspect, in part from surveillance video from the Champaign gas station, Lynch said.

Jackson was arrested Friday afternoon at his address in the 200 block of East Hill Street.

Lynch said Jackson has prior convictions for robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, theft, aggravated driving under the influence, obstructing justice, unlawful use of a credit card, and domestic battery.

Because of that record, he would likely face Class X felony penalties — six to 30 years in prison — for kidnapping.

Jackson was also charged Friday with domestic battery with a prior domestic battery for allegedly punching a woman in the face on Feb. 5 at her home on East Main Street in Urbana.

In addition to setting the high bond, Ladd ordered that Jackson be fitted with a GPS monitoring device if he is able to post bond for his release and have no contact with the 21-year-old Lyft driver.

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