Man who tried to kidnap ex-girlfriend facing long prison term

Man who tried to kidnap ex-girlfriend facing long prison term

URBANA — A man who admitted he tried to kidnap a former girlfriend at knifepoint in west Champaign about two months ago faces up to 24 years in prison when he is sentenced later this summer.

Thomas W. Krigbaum, 42, who listed addresses on Boulder Ridge Drive in Champaign and in Decatur, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated kidnapping before Judge Tom Difanis in connection with a March 27 attack on a 31-year-old woman on Leeper Drive.

Krigbaum was set to be tried by a jury for aggravated battery to a peace officer and possession of methamphetamine when he elected to plead guilty in the kidnapping case. Difanis set sentencing for July 8.

Assistant State's Attorney Will Lynch agreed to dismiss the aggravated battery and methamphetamine charges and another case alleging unlawful use of a credit card, theft and domestic involving the same victim in return for Krigbaum's plea. Also to be dismissed are other counts in the kidnapping case of aggravated battery with a knife, violation of an order of probation and driving under revocation.

Laying out the facts for Difanis, Lynch said the woman had arrived home from work about 5:30 p.m. March 27 and noticed a man behind her but didn't recognize him because it was later revealed he was wearing a wig.

The man, later identified as Krigbaum, grabbed the woman from behind, put his hand over her mouth and pushed her toward a garbage can. The woman struggled to get his hand off her mouth and he told her he just wanted to talk, Lynch said. She tried to call 911 but he grabbed her phone and pushed her inside a car. She tried to escape but he pulled her by her hair back into the car.

She managed to get out, but Krigbaum pushed her to the ground and pinned her down, holding a knife to her, prosecutors said.

Lynch said neighbors heard her screams and came to her aid, getting Krigbaum off her. She sustained a cut to her hand in the attack as well as having her hair ripped.

Champaign County sheriff's deputies did a court-authorized search of Krigbaum's car and found duct tape, electrical tape, gloves, dark clothing, a zip tie and a costume in a bag that was apparently the source of the wig.

In November, Krigbaum had allegedly withdrawn cash from the same woman's bank account using her bank card multiple times. When Champaign police officers went to his Boulder Ridge home to talk to him about that, he allegedly shoved Officer Danielle Griffet, knocking her to the ground as he ran, but other officers caught him. Krigbaum's dog bit Griffet, slightly injuring her forearm, during the Nov. 23 melee.

Whatever sentence Krigbaum receives, he will have to serve 85 percent. The maximum penalty for the Class X aggravated kidnapping is 30 years in prison.

He has been held in the county jail since March 29.

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