Suspects Charged with Kidnapping After Standoff - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/18/06

Suspects Charged with Kidnapping After Standoff

There was finally a peaceful ending to tense times in Statesboro after two people holding an attorney hostage surrendered yesterday morning. The hostage takers tried to give up earlier, but there were shots fired, and the situation dragged on for several more hours.

A full day after it started, police were finally able to relax a little Tuesday morning. Chief Stan York of the Statesboro Police Department told the media, "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to report to you that we have successfully resolved the hostage situation."

With Robbie Brower and his wife Connie Brower in custody, all that was left to do was detonate the explosives police say they used to hold Michael Hostilo captive.

It all started just after 9am Monday morning. Police say the Browers walked in to Hostilo's office and held three people hostage. After a while, they let two go, but kept Hostilo, who they claim botched Robbie Brower's defense in a trial several years ago.

"My understanding is possibly he may have been a court-appointed attorney for him during that time, that he had some issues with," Chief York said.

Throughout the ordeal, Chief York says the Browers had only one demand, that Robbie get another day in court to get justice for what he says was a false accusation. That news had friends of Hostilo reeling. "This man's got a family," said Keb Creighton. "There's no sense in this."

"Whatever they're trying to justify, hurting Mike would not help their case at all," said Ken Cooper. "And no one would worry about what they are trying to justify if they do hurt Mike."

The stalemate stretched through the night into Tuesday morning. Around 6am, police thought they had it wrapped up and the Browers stepped outside.

"Two shots were fired, however no one was injured," said Chief York. "The hostage, Robbie and Connie Brower retreated to the original location."

Three hours later, negotiators were able to coax them out again, and the standoff was finally over.

So far the Browers are being charged with one count of kidnapping each, but there's a good possibility they'll face more charges at the state and federal level.

They're being held in the Bulloch County Jail for now.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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