Burns found guilty of planning to kidnap prosecutor - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Burns found guilty of planning to kidnap prosecutor

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HARRISBURG -- After a three-day trial and a quick deliberation, jurors decided Brian Burns did plot to have someone kidnap former Saline County State's Attorney Mike Henshaw.

The jury took nearly two hours deliberating before finding Burns guilty of kidnapping charges. But in his closing argument, Burns' attorney called the idea of kidnapping Mike Henshaw "a bunch of fanciful made-up bull."

Burns was already in jail awaiting trial, accused of killing his estranged wife.

Thursday, the jury listened to audio recordings between Burns and cellmate Mark Stricken, who had been wired.

Stricklin testified that Burns attempted to plan the kidnapping of Mike Henshaw in exchange of getting his murder charges dropped.

Friday, trial began with testimony from an undercover investigator who prosecutors say Burns offered to pay $1,000 to kidnap Henshaw using the code word, "roofing-job."

When closing arguments began, special prosecutor Matt Goetten said, "Dr. Burns wanted to take Henshaw somewhere and hold him against his will until Olson [assistant state's attorney] dismissed his charges." 

Saying Burns conspired with Stricklin and the undercover detective for the kidnapping.

But defense attorney Brian Drew shot back in his argument, saying Burns and Stricklin were "just talking fantasy, make believe passing the time."  

After the jury spent nearly two hours deliberating, they found Burns guilty of solicitation, conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated kidnapping.

Burns was immediately taken away in handcuffs.

Sentencing for Burns is scheduled for July 25th.

A pre-trial hearing for murder charges will be next week.

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