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Browers' fate in hands of jury
Verdict expected Friday
012407 BOWER TRIAL 2
Connie Brower testifies Wednesday in the trial where she and her husband are accused of holding attorney Michael Hostilo hostage in Statesboro office.
Jurors deliberated for about an hour before requesting to continue deliberation Friday in the trial of a couple accused of holding an attorney hostage in his own Courtland Street office in Statesboro over a year ago.
    Robbie Eugene Brower, 44, and Connie Czako Brower, 45, are each charged with four counts of kidnapping,  two counts of possession of a hoax device, two counts of terroristic threats and acts, and possession of a weapon during commission of felonies.
    Robbie Brower was also charged with aggravated assault and two counts of possession of a hoax device by a convicted felon.
    The two are accused of taking attorney Michael Hostilo and three secretaries hostage in Hostilo's office Jan. 16, 2006. The secretaries were released but the Browers held Hostilo for over 24 hours.
    Thursday marked the third day of the trial, with Connie Brower taking the stand Thursday morning to complete her testimony. Robbie Brower was again called to the stand, then prosecutors and defense attorneys made closing arguments before the jury was released from the courtroom for deliberation.
    In his testimony, Brower said he is angry because Hostilo represented him in a 1995 case where Brower was convicted of attacking a man with a hammer. He   claimed Hostilo represented him poorly and the result caused him to lose custody of his daughter.
    Hostilo testified Tuesday, recalling how Brower entered his office around 9 a.m. that  morning and said "Today is the day you're going to meet your Maker."
    He said he was frightened and thought he was going to die, and after a failed escape, decided to help the Browers compose demand letters and plan a surrender because he feared for his life.
    However, Tuesday jurors watched a video showing Hostilo walking out of the office hand in hand with the Browers. After starting to comply with police demands, Hostilo protested by saying "This is not part of the deal. I want to talk to the media."
    When Robbie Brower tried to pull away, Hostilo yelled "Stay with me, Robbie" but Brower grabbed him by the neck and started yelling profanities, threatening to break Hostilo's neck.
    Brower testified Wednesday and told jurors the entire ordeal was to get attention about his 11-year effort to have the 1995 conviction overturned, and to regain contact with his daughter.
    Connie Brower said she and Robbie Brower they never meant to hurt anyone, but knew they were breaking the law when the hostage standoff unfolded.
    The defense argued  Robbie Brower had a reason for his actions, and had no other recourse after an 11-year campaign to get attention and rectify what he says is a wrongful conviction. They said Connie Brower suffered from a stressful life and had issues regarding her first husband's suicide, and felt compelled to "support" her current husband out of fear he would get hurt or die if he were alone in his mission.
    Prosecutors argued the Browers each knew their actions were illegal and did not consider the pain and terror their actions caused the victims.
    Jurors will continue deliberation today and likely reach a  verdict.
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