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Award given to kidnap victim in shootings

ATLANTA, March 16 (UPI) -- Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has ordered payment of $10,000 to the woman who led officers to the man charged with killing four people in Atlanta.

Ashley Smith, 26, was kidnapped at her apartment Friday night by Brian Nichols, 33, who police said had killed four in an Atlanta courthouse shooting spree earlier in the day. When she was freed, she immediately called 911 and Nichols was captured.

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The $10,000 reward by the state is part of $60,000 that had been offered to anyone who led authorities to the suspect, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.

Perdue suggested the other agencies that had promised rewards step up.

"I think Ashley Smith has earned the money. She did exactly what we asked people to do. She absolutely deserves it, and we're ready to pay up now," Perdue told a news conference.

The U.S. Marshals Service had offered $20,000, the FBI $25,000 and the Georgia Sheriff's Association pledged $5,000.

Norman Hylton, spokesman for the Marshals Service, said his agency is working with the others to make a joint presentation of the money to Smith.

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