Both Suspects in Custody as Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/17/06

Both Suspects in Custody as Hostage Situation Ends Peacefully

Robbie Brower taken into custody in Statesboro. Robbie Brower taken into custody in Statesboro.

The hostage situation in Statesboro ended peacefully this morning when, after a standoff more than 24 hours long, the hostage takers surrendered to police.

Statesboro police say around 9am yesterday, Robbie Brower and Connie Brower took attorney Michael Hostilo hostage at Hostilo's law office on Courtland Street, just across from the Bulloch County Courthouse.

Almost to the minute, the ordeal ended for Hostilo 24 hours after it began. "We have successfully resolved the hostage situation," announced Chief Stan York of Statesboro PD. "The three are all safe. No one was injured. The Browers are in custody."

At 9:30am, Robbie Brower surrendered and an officer led him down the street and into local custody. "A little bit of fatigue has set in, but everybody's very upbeat about the way this turned out," said Chief York. "This is the way--you know, if you've got to be in a situation of this nature--this is the way you want it to come out."

Even with the couple in custody, state and federal agents still had to dispose of Brower's homemade bombs.

Through the daylong drama, Brower mainly wanted a new hearing on a charge stemming from a 1995 assault he says was unfounded. When asked what it took to get Brower to surrender, Chief York replied, "We told him we'd try to do the fair and right thing and get him another day in court."

Unfortunately, a day in court to settle the past may have permanently ruined Brower's future.

Earlier, shots had been heard outside Hostilo's office after the suspects emerged around 6am, possibly to surrender. They went back inside after the shots. It's not yet clear who fired, but no one was injured.

Robbie and Connie Brower are in the Bulloch County jail awaiting a meeting with attorneys. At this point, there is no timetable as to when they'll be in court. They face kidnapping charges, with additional charges possible.

This wasn't Brower's only brush with the law. In the 1995 case, he was convicted of assaulting Billy Eskins with a hammer. (Click here for Eskins' story.) Brower has also been convicted three separate times for burglary. He served six months in prison for each offense. The Chatham County Sheriff's Department says Brower has been in and out of their jail 20 times from 1983 to 1999. In 1997, Brower served one year in a state prison for the attack on Billy Eskins.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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