[Masthead] Fog/Mist ~ 41°F  
High: 53°F ~ Low: 43°F
Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spencer man charged with terrorism in hostage standoff

Thursday, February 7, 2008

For the second time in less than a week, Spencer area officers were called out to a standoff involving weapons.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call reporting a domestic assault at shortly before midnight Sunday from the Country Villa trailer park southeast of Spencer. The female 911 caller was the victim, identified as the wife of 34-year-old Cory Christoffer Wells.

The caller told dispatchers she had been assaulted and her husband had a loaded automatic rifle in his possession.

"She met them at the door and he went to the back of the trailer with the rifle," Clay County Sheriff Randy Krukow said. The woman stopped officers and said 'don't go in, he's got a loaded gun.'"

The wife and a 5-year-old daughter were taken to safety. The victim was taken by ambulance to Spencer Hospital.

"She was struck with fists and also the butt of the rifle numerous times," Krukow said.

The victim was treated and released at the emergency room. The sheriff described her as "sore, but doing OK." The young girl was not injured.

Additional officers were called in to secure the area. Neighbors were instructed to stay inside their homes, away from windows and with lights off. Officers began the hour-and-a-half process of negotiating a surrender by telephone.

"He said he had put the gun down," Krukow said. "His concern, at that point, is that he wouldn't be shot."

Wells came out with his hands up and officers took him into custody at 1:15 a.m. Monday.

Officers found a Russian-made Saiga rifle.

A loaded 9 mm handgun was also discovered inside.

Wells was not injured. he was transported to the Clay County Jail and later transported to the Spencer Hospital Mental Health Unit for evaluation. He was discharged on Wednesday and placed under arrest by the sheriff's office.

"He was threatening to kill, not only someone else, but also himself," Krukow said.

Court records indicate an extensive history of alcohol-related offenses and other violations. Krukow said alcohol was a contributing factor in Sunday night's incident.

A temporary no-contact order is in place on behalf of Wells' family members. Members of the Spencer Police Department helped deputies at the scene, and the investigation has been completed.

"Hopefully, he will seek counseling or treatment," Krukow said of Wells. "But for right now, we do have to take care of the criminal charges."

Wells was charged with terrorism, a Class B felony that carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. He was also charged with domestic abuse assault and child endangerment.

It has been a tense season in Spencer.

On January 31, Spencer officers faced a standoff negotiation that ended tragically. Forty-nine-year-old Allen Linn Harman shot and killed himself rather than surrender to officers. .Police found a semiautomatic handgun in the motel room and more weapons outside in Harman's truck. Harman was facing charges of sexual abuse of a minor in Wyoming.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: