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Crime & Courts

Hit man case defendant pleads guilty to abuse

A man who tried to hire a man to kill witnesses against him in a sex assault case, pleaded guilty Thursday in La Salle County Circuit Court to committing the assault.

Cody L. Smith, 24, was charged in 2015 with assaulting a young girl in La Salle. While in the La Salle County Jail on this charge in spring 2016, Smith tried to hire a "hit man," who was actually an undercover police officer, to kill three witnesses. Smith was sentenced in July 2017 to serve at least 23 years in prison for the attempted murder-for-hire.

On Thursday, Smith pleaded guilty to the sexual assault. Smith, who is to be sentenced Thursday, June 7, remains in the county jail. Prosecutors said they will ask for a 30-year prison term, of which Smith would have to serve at least 25 years and would have to be served after he serves the 23 years for trying to arrange the murders.

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