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Federal trial for ‘AK-47 Bandit’ set for March in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal trial in Nebraska has been pushed to March for a man suspected of being the “AK-47 bandit,” who investigators believe robbed banks in five states, including one in Mason City.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that a federal judge on Tuesday denied a motion by Richard Gathercole for a new court-appointed attorney and set trial for March 25.

Gathercole has pleaded not guilty to robbery and other charges. He’s accused of stealing more than $90,000 in August 2014 from a bank in Nebraska City, about 50 miles south of Omaha.

Officials believe Gathercole carried an AK-47 while robbing banks in California, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska and Washington. That includes the robbery of the Iowa Heartland Credit Union in Mason City in 2015. He has not been charged in that specific crime.

Gathercole, of Roundup, Montana, was arrested in June 2017 near Lexington, Nebraska, after a sheriff’s deputy spotted a pickup truck that Kansas authorities had reported stolen by a man who fired at a state trooper.


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