A former Danville man was sentenced last week to 16 years in state prison — 15 years for his conviction on a charge of solicitation of murder, a Class X felony, and the extra year for conviction on a hate crime, a Class 4 felony.

Bradley A. Servis received the sentence from Vermilion Circuit Judge Charles Hall.

Evidence presented to the judge indicated that during hte summer of 2018, Servis damaged the car and garage of a neighbor. An investigation by the Vermilion County sheriff’s department found that the motivation for the actions by Servis against the neighbor, who is Black, was due to her race.

According to a release from the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s office, Servis ultimately confessed to the crimes, was arrested and was taken to the county jail.

With months of his incarceration, a sheriff’s investigator learned that Servis had approached another inmate seeking assistance in having the neighbor killed in order to prevent her from testifying in court. The investigator worked with agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to obtain authorization to use an eavesdropping device and have an ATF agent pose as a hit man to approach Servis. Evidence showed that the agent obtained audio-taped statements of Servis requesting the undercover agent to kill the neighbor.

State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy cited sheriff’s investigator Arik Bruens and the undercover federal agent for their professionalism and expediency in orchestrating an investigation that resulted in charges against Servis.

“This defendent’s initial crimes against his neighbor were despicable enough, but his attempts to have her murdered were simply horrendous and intolerable,” Lacy said in a statement. “The officers in this matter undoubtedly saved a life; providing assurance to all crime victims that they will be protected.”

Lacy said the community “is fortunate for their dedication and service.”

Servis will serve his prison term in the Illinois Department Corrections. He must serve a minimum of 85% of the term and will be on supervised parole for three years after his term is completed.

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