Kan. man sentenced for holding pet spider hostage, car burglaries

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - A Leavenworth, Kan., man has been sentenced for a string of crimes involving a pet spider held for ransom, car burglaries and a 14-year-old hiding in a closet.

Bryan Paul Smith, 26, was ordered to serve 54 months in prison for two separate cases on Friday.

In the first case, he pleaded no contest to criminal threat charges that resulted from a pet-sitting gone awry. According to the Leavenworth County Attorney's office, Smith was asked to watch a pet spider for a victim in the case.

When the victim asked for the spider back, Smith demanded money and said he wanted to keep the pet. He eventually threatened to shoot and kill the victim unless he gave him $100 and the arachnid. Smith was sentenced to 14 months for that incident.

He also pleaded no contest to charges involving a string of car burglaries and a stolen dog.

The County Attorney's office arrested Smith and an accomplice for the burglaries that occurred around Jan. 14 of this year. The accomplice, Justin Wilder, said that he would break into the vehicles while Smith kept a lookout.

Officials say that Smith stole a Siberian husky dog, which police later found at his home while investigating the crimes. They also found a 14-year-old hiding in a closet at his home.

In this case, he was charged with one count of contributing to a child's misconduct, three counts of burglary, five counts of theft and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Smith was sentenced to 40 months in prison for those charges.

The two sentences will be served consecutively.

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