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Oklahoma fugitive appears in court


Fri, Jul 21st, 2006
Posted in Court

Benjamin Beck was escorted into court on Wednesday. Beck was charged with 10 felony counts of burglary, kidnapping and assault of a Preston couple on July 9.

PRESTON - Benjamin Heath Beck, 32, was arraigned in Fillmore County District Court on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 on 10 felony counts, including kidnapping, burglary and assault with a dangerous weapon. Judge Robert Benson set unconditional bail at $750,000.

According to court documents, Beck and Truman Gross, forced their way into the DeWayne and Norma Vogt residence in Preston on July 9, 2006 at gunpoint. The two men bound the couple and stole a vehicle. The Vogts eventually escaped and alerted authorities. Beck and Gross were captured later in Wisconsin following a high speed chase on I-90.

According to the criminal complaint, Beck told law enforcement authorities that he and Gross escaped from a minimum security prison in Lexington, Oklahoma on July 3 and that they committed similar crimes in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen told the Journal that Beck and Gross face charges in four states.

During the Rule 5 hearing, which lasted seven minutes, Judge Benson read the charges to Beck: three counts of burglary; two counts of aggravated robbery; two counts of kidnapping; simple robbery; theft; and assault with a dangerous weapon.

When asked if he understood the charges against him, Beck answered, "Yes, your honor." Beck also asked the court to appoint an attorney to represent him.

Beck is being held in the Olmsted County Jail. His next court appearance has been scheduled for July 24, 2006 at 10:00 a.m.

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