Judge Wendel Wurst takes the stand, details hostage situation


GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – The southwest Kansas judge who says he was held hostage in his own home last year took the witness stand Wednesday.

For about three hours Wednesday, Judge Wendel Wurst detailed the day last year that he thought might have been his last day on earth.

“I’m afraid I’m going to be shot,” said Judge Wurst.

Judge Wurst described his fear during the kidnapping. He feared that he wouldn’t live to see his daughter’s wedding ten days later.

“It was a big day for her and our family and I needed to be there,” said Wurst.

Jason Nichols is charged with terrorism for allegedly holding the judge for hours.

Wurst explained that he tried to fully cooperate with Nichols so he could make it out alive. He also said Nichols wanted his help in fighting a state-imposed wage garnishment.

“He laid a bunch of papers out on the table that he had Xerox related to forfeiture statues,” explained Wurst.

The prosecution showed an hour-long video of the event that Nichols filmed himself that day.

Nichols asked Judge Wurst why the state was garnishing his wages for not filing several years of tax returns.

“I would like to know who signed off on the theft of my property without any probably cause or respecting my rights in the Constitution of the United States,” Nichols can be heard asking in the footage.

In the video, Nichols said his employer already withholds his taxes and he believed the garnishment was illegal.

The defense is arguing that Nichols is not a terrorist. His attorneys say he was merely “emotionally fragile” over his tax situation.

The trial will continue through next week.

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