Richard Gathercole, alleged to be the "AK-47 bandit” who robbed a Nebraska City bank in 2014, was set to enter a plea Tuesday but instead asked for a different court-appointed attorney and more time to prepare for trial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart denied the motion for a new attorney after a closed-door meeting with Gathercole and his current attorney, Jon Braaten.
Gathercole now is set for trial March 25 on a six-count indictment in connection with the robbery of $90,000 at First Nebraska Bank and his arrest in Dawson County in 2017.
The 40-year-old from Roundup, Montana, was arrested June 19, 2017, at a gas station near Lexington following an earlier shootout with a Kansas Highway patrolman, a high-speed chase and a carjacking.
In the indictment, Gathercole was accused of being in a stolen pickup and in possession of an improvised explosive device with six containers and two homemade detonators with handwritten labels the day he was arrested.
He also was accused of the holdup, one in a series of bank robberies and attempted robberies across five states that law enforcement believe to have been committed by the suspect dubbed the AK-47 bandit because of the rifle he brandished when he went in the banks.