Jury Convicts Browers in Statesboro Standoff

Connie and Robbie Brower
Connie and Robbie Brower

Robbie and Connie Brower were solemn as jurors confirmed the verdicts they'd given, guilty verdicts on all but the charge of assaulting attorney Michael Hostilo during a failed surrender.

Jurors stopped deliberating Friday morning to watch video of the surrender again. They found Connie Brower guilty on the same charges from threatening Hostilo and law officers with fake pipe bombs to holding Hostilo's secretaries, if only for ten minutes.

"Our biggest goal was to make the jury realize this was real. There was no justification for what the Browers did," explained assistant district attorney Daphne Jarriel.

Robbie said it was all to confront Hostilo for the way the attorney represented him ten years before. He said the plea bargain Hostilo suggested to him ruined his life and cost him custody of his child.

In the standoff, he demanded a new day in court.

"He got his day in court," agreed his defense attorney, Robert Persse. "In the end, the jury may have decided this was something they weren't going to tolerate in their community."

Judge Gates Peed sentenced Robbie to 85 years in prison and Connie to 65.

"I thought the sentence was harsh," said her attorney, Stephen Yekel. "It was inappropriate based on Mrs. Brower had no prior record and I thought the judge would find a more reasonable sentence."

Both Pursse and Yekel say they plan to appeal the convictions.

Reported by Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com