CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A former Wyoming state trooper has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for kidnapping a truck driver in what prosecutors say was an aborted murder plot.Federal judge Alan B. Johnson said Friday he regarded Franklin Joseph Ryle's plan as half-baked. But the judge said there was no doubt his offense was serious and required a significant sentence. The 42-year-old Ryle pleaded guilty in July to charges he violated the civil rights of Wal-Mart trucker Richard Smidt by pulling him over and kidnapping him in January near Douglas. Ryle also admitted to carrying a firearm during the crime, a factor that added a mandatory five years to his sentence.
Ryle has said he intended to stage an accident involving the truck and his patrol car to try to get a settlement from Wal-Mart. Prosecutors have said he intended to murder the driver, but Ryle ultimately released him unharmed.