Angry father ‘kidnaps judge and his wife over child custody case’

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Police in western Kansas say a gunman who held Finney County's chief judge and his wife hostage over a child custody matter eventually surrendered and the two were released unharmed.

Authorities say the standoff began shortly before 7am Tuesday, when the armed suspect Jason Nichols forced his way into 61-year-old Wendel Wurst's Garden City home and confronted the couple.

Garden City Police Chief Michael Utz says Nichols ordered Wurst to the ground and bound the judge's hands.

Utz says Wurst's 62-year-old wife Rhonda Wurst was allowed to use the bathroom, where she called police on her cellphone. She was later released.

The standoff ended more than five hours later, at which time Wurst was freed.

Police say the suspect was upset over a custody case Wurst handled.

Garden City police wrote on Facebook Tuesday: 'The hostage situation has been resolved without incident.

'There are still a lot of moving parts in the investigation, please stay away from the area.

'The suspect and hostage are okay.'

Utz was filmed by KWCH saying: 'After several hours of negotiation, the suspect surrendered at 12.34pm this afternoon and was taken into custody without incident.

'Chief Judge Wurst was located and is in good health.'

Nichols may be charged for aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, kidnapping, terrorism, and criminal threat, the TV station reported.

Daily Mail

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