State pays $110K to settle with kidnapped trucker

The state of Wyoming has paid $110,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a Walmart trucker kidnapped last year by a rogue state trooper in an aborted murder plot.

Trucker Richard J. Smidt of Arvada, Colo., said Wednesday that he hopes the settlement will force the Wyoming Highway Patrol to improve how it trains and oversees troopers.

Former trooper Franklin Ryle admitted last year he kidnapped Smidt and planned to kill him in a staged accident to extort money from Walmart.

Ryle pleaded guilty last year to violating Smidt's civil rights. Ryle is serving a 15-year prison sentence.

The Highway Patrol originally had paid Smidt $10,000 to settle his claims without telling him about Ryle's plot.

Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg declined comment.