AK-47 Bandit Writes Note Demanding A New Lawyer

LINCOLN –  A federal judge denied the AK 47 Bandit’s request for a new lawyer and set a March 25 trial date at Tuesday’s hearing in Lincoln.

Richard Gathercole is accused of a string of bank robberies, including a 2014 robbery at the First Nebraska Bank in Nebraska City.

He is suspected of robbing a bank in Chino, Calif., in 2012, where a police officer was seriously wounded.

He is suspected of robberies in California, Iowa, Idaho and Washington.

He was arrested in Nebraska after attempting to shoot a Kansas State Trooper, who was trying to pull him over. His home in Montana was searched.

Days prior to the change of plea hearing, Gathercole sent a handwritten note to the judge asking for a new attorney and a suppression hearing.

“I request to have a change of plea to a suppression hearing and pre-trial,” Gathercole wrote.

The Kansas State Trooper who attempted to stop Gathercole, says he fired at him using an AK-47 style rifle that prosecutors say is indicative of the weapon used in the Nebraska City bank robbery.

US Attorney Lesley Woods told the judge she expects trial to take 10 days. She said the state will have to bring witnesses from several states.


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