Court papers says suspect in Neb. bank standoff demanded cash, wanted police to kill him

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Court papers: Standoff suspect wanted cash, death

OMAHA, Neb. — A man suspected of holding hostages at gunpoint in a south-central Nebraska bank demanded negotiators have police kill him or give him $100,000, according to court documents.

Jonathon Buckley, 22, of Minden, was charged Friday with five counts of kidnapping, one count of robbery and one count of using a firearm to commit a felony. Bail was set at $1 million.

Buckley was arrested Wednesday following a nearly three-hour standoff at a Wells Fargo Bank branch in downtown Kearney. No shots were fired, and no injuries were reported.

Kearney police have said Buckley began taking hostages inside a Wells Fargo Bank branch just before 11 a.m. Wednesday and started releasing people about 45 minutes later. He surrendered about 1:30 p.m.

Police have not said how many people were in the bank. The Kearney Hub newspaper reported that 30 to 40 employees and customers left the bank through a side door late Wednesday morning.

The charges against Buckley name five hostages, but Buffalo County Attorney Shawn Eatherton has said more charges could be filed.

An affidavit filed in Buffalo County Court says Buckley was armed when he entered the bank and was “threatening to kill someone and himself.”

“All the hostages were released, and as they were interviewed, they advised they were threatened by Jon and in fear of death,” the affidavit states.

During talks with police negotiators, the court documents say, Buckley asked officers to kill him and, later, for $100,000. Bank employees gave him $80,000 in cash, which was with him when he surrendered to police.

The affidavit says that after his arrest, Buckley confessed to threatening hostages with a sawed-off shotgun and again asked police to kill him.

Buckley was being held Saturday in the Kearney jail.

Buffalo County public defender Jeff Wirth has been assigned to represent Buckley. Messages left with his office have not been returned.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for March 9.

If convicted, Buckley faces up to 50 years in prison on each count.

Local television station NTV said in a written statement and story on its Web site that Buckley was fired Feb. 3 for making threats against the station.

Kearney is about 185 miles west of Omaha.

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