Garden City Man Pleads Not Guilty In Judge Hostage Case
KSCB News - November 10, 2016 3:23 pm
GC Telegram(Brett Riggs) – Garden City man accused of holding 25th Judicial District Chief Judge Wendel Wurst hostage in his home in May pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Finney County District Court.
Jason Nichols, 33, 3501 Campus Drive, who is charged with two counts of terrorism, two counts of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal threat, appeared in court with his attorney, Jonathan McConnell of Wichita.
Nichols entered his plea, and Chief Judge Jack Burr of the 15th Judicial District scheduled Nichols’ trial to begin March 27. Burr also scheduled a pre-trial conference for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 23.
The charges stem from an incident May 31, when Nichols is accused of coming to Wurst’s home, 1801 Amir Circle, at about 6:50 that morning, entering the residence armed with a gun and holding Wurst for several hours before surrendering. Wurst was freed unharmed.
Nichols, who was charged June 7, was bound over for trial on Oct. 3 after a preliminary hearing.
McConnell said in court Tuesday that he intends to file a motion to dismiss, for which Burr gave him a Nov. 28 deadline. Burr set a hearing for oral arguments on the motion for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 25.
Jessica Domme and Amy Hanley with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office are handling the case, which was turned over to that office by Finney County Attorney Susan Richmeier, who cited a conflict of interest.
Nichols is a lifelong Garden City resident and well-known for being a two-time state wrestling champion during his days at Garden City High School.