The former La Salle County deputy who kidnapped a 14-year-old girl then led officers on a 4-day, multicounty manhunt nearly 2 years ago will serve 25 years in prison, now that he has received his second sentence in Will County for his crime spree.
Lowell “Max” Ambler, 48, of Mendota, was sentenced Aug. 6 to 15 years in Will County Court for aggravated robbery, the term to run consecutive with a 10-year stint levied July 25 in Lee County.
Ambler was indicted Oct. 20, 2017, in Lee County Court on two counts of home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping, criminal trespass to a residence and unlawful restraint. He pleaded guilty to felony kidnapping and secret confinement, and the remaining charges were dismissed in a plea agreement.
In Will County, he was charged with aggravated robbery, armed robbery, robbery of a victim older than 60 and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Will County prosecutors dropped the last three charges, also as part of the two-county plea agreement that required the consecutive terms. He will get credit for 649 days served.
Because the court found that Ambler committed the crimes “as a result of the use of, abuse of or addiction to alcohol or a controlled substance,” he will be recommended for substance abuse treatment.
Ambler entered a Compton home on Aug. 26, 2017, where his ex-girlfriend’s daughter was babysitting. He duct-taped her hands, pushed her head into a couch, dragged her outside, choked her, duct-taped her hands behind her back and dragged her to a shed.
As she pleaded for him not to kill her, he duct-taped her around her head and mouth and after she passed out, he tossed her into a bean field. A car arrived and he took off, and the girl broke free.
He was arrested that Sept. 15, and while out on bond violated the terms of his release by sending text and Snapchat messages to girl’s mother.
On Oct. 3 he stole a semitrailer and drove it to Plainfield, where the girl and her mother were staying. He ditched the semitrailer and then carjacked the vehicle; it was found in woods south of his hometown of Earlville, where he was arrested Oct. 6 after a standoff.