Death of Brian Douglas Wells, the exploding pizza delivery man

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Death of Brian Douglas Wells, the exploding pizza delivery man

Post by ophion1031 on January 27th 2016, 3:20 am

This is a weird one! This must be what inspired that shitty movie 30 Minutes or Less.

Brian Douglas Wells (November 15, 1956 – August 28, 2003) was an American pizza delivery man who was killed by a remotely controlled bomb fastened to his neck, under coercion from the maker of the bomb. After he was apprehended by the police for robbing a bank, the bomb was detonated. The bizarre affair was subject to much attention in the mass media.

In a July 2007 indictment, federal prosecutors alleged that Wells had been involved in the planning of the botched crime. Two of his alleged conspirators, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and Kenneth Barnes, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of bank robbery, conspiracy, and weapons charges. Kenneth Barnes subsequently pleaded guilty in September 2008 and largely confirmed that Wells was indeed involved in planning the robbery but also revealed Wells was under the impression an actual bomb would not be used. When he discovered the bomb was real, Barnes said a pistol was fired in order to force Wells' compliance, and witnesses confirmed hearing a gunshot. On December 4, 2008, U.S. District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin sentenced Barnes to 45 years in federal prison for his role in the bank robbery and use of a destructive device during a crime of violence. On November 1, 2010, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was found guilty of participating in the crime, and was sentenced to life plus 30 years on February 28, 2011.

Wells dropped out of high school in 1973. For nearly 30 years, he worked as a pizza delivery man and was considered a valued and trusted employee of the Mama Mia Pizzeria in Erie, Pennsylvania. On the afternoon of August 28, 2003, Wells received a call to deliver two pizzas to an address a few miles from the pizzeria. It was later found that the address was that of WSEE-TV's transmission tower at the end of a dirt road.

According to law enforcement reports, Wells was allegedly meeting people he thought were his accomplices, including Barnes; Wells allegedly participated in the planning for the robbery, and that he had been told the bomb was going to be fake and he was to claim that three black men forced the bomb on him and he was to tell police he was a hostage.

At the television tower, Wells, for the first time, learned that the device was real. He wrestled with the men (presumably Barnes and William A. Rothstein) and tried to flee, but one of them fired a gun, causing Wells to stop. It was at this time that the collar bomb must have been attached. They gave him a sophisticated home-made shotgun, which looked like an oddly shaped cane, and told him to use it if he found trouble at the bank. Wells then entered a bank with the shotgun and demanded $250,000. When police intervened, Wells claimed that three unnamed people had placed a bomb around his neck, provided him with the shotgun, and told him that he had to commit the robbery and several other tasks, otherwise he would be killed.
Triple-banded metal collar that was locked around Wells' neck.

At first, the police made no attempt to disarm the device. The bomb squad was finally called at 3:04 PM, at least 30 minutes after the first 9-1-1 call. At 3:18 PM, the bomb detonated and blasted a fist-sized hole in Wells' chest, killing him just three minutes before the bomb squad arrived. It is now believed that Wells was killed by Diehl-Armstrong and her conspirators to reduce witnesses against herself and others. The event was also broadcast on television and subsequently the footage found its way to video sharing sites.

A note found on Wells had instructions for him to carry out four tasks—the first of which was the bank robbery—in a set period of time before the bomb went off. Wells would gain extra time with the completion of each task. However, it was later determined that regardless of what had unfolded, Wells would never have had enough time to complete the tasks to get the bomb defused: Police traveled the route on the note and couldn't complete it in the time the note allocated to Wells.

Wells was allegedly drawn into the plot through Barnes, whom he knew through Diehl-Armstrong. The plot was hatched to get funds to pay Barnes enough money to kill Diehl-Armstrong's father, so Diehl-Armstrong could get an inheritance, authorities said. However, Wells had stolen only $8,702, far from the $125,000 needed for the killing. Furthermore, the inheritance Diehl-Armstrong coveted was largely spent.

On February 16, 2007, the Associated Press reported that "the case has been solved and indictments are expected, likely by next month." A federal grand jury in Erie, PA was still hearing evidence in the case as of May 13, 2007, according to the Erie Times-News. According to the paper, three suspects were identified as perpetrators of the plot.

On July 10, 2007, charges were filed against two individuals for crimes related to the robbery and death. Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong (who was imprisoned on an unrelated murder charge at the time) was charged with three criminal acts: bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery and felony use of a firearm in connection with a crime. Kenneth Barnes (who was imprisoned on unrelated drug charges at the time) was also charged without disclosure of the specific crimes.

On July 11, 2007, the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI announced that Brian Douglas Wells had been named as a conspirator because of his participation in the execution of the robbery. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan argued that Wells' action of actually robbing the bank made him a conspirator in the crime. Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and Kenneth Barnes had been charged with felonies in the case. A third person in the case, Floyd Stockton, 60, was given immunity in a deal with prosecutors to testify against Barnes and Diehl-Armstrong. Despite naming Wells as a conspirator, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said she couldn't comment on what his motive might have been. Rothstein was also named as a conspirator, but was not charged, having died of lymphoma in 2004.

On July 29, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Sean J. McLaughlin made an initial finding that Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was mentally incompetent to stand trial for the bombing due to a number of mental disorders, indicating that this ruling would be reviewed after Diehl-Armstrong had received a period of treatment in a mental hospital. She was then transferred for treatment in a federal prison mental health facility in Texas.

On September 3, 2008, Kenneth Barnes pleaded guilty to conspiring to rob a bank and to aiding and abetting. On December 3, 2008 Kenneth Barnes was sentenced to 45 years in prison by a Federal judge in Erie for his role in the crime.

On February 24, 2009, Judge McLaughlin scheduled a hearing for March 11, 2009, to determine if Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was now competent to stand trial. Judge McLaughlin ruled Diehl-Armstrong incompetent to stand trial in July 2008. On September 9, 2009, the judge determined that she was indeed competent to stand trial. As of October, 2010, the trial of Diehl-Armstrong was under way in Erie, Pennsylvania and she had taken the stand to testify on her own behalf as part of her defense.

On November 1, 2010, Diehl-Armstrong was convicted of armed bank robbery, conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, and of using a destructive device in a crime. She was sentenced to life plus 30 years on February 28, 2011. In November 2012 the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed her conviction. In January 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court denied her petition for certiorari, declining to hear her case. In December of 2015, Diehl-Armstrong lost a second appeal of her conviction.
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Re: Death of Brian Douglas Wells, the exploding pizza delivery man

Post by ophion1031 on January 27th 2016, 3:21 am

Brian Douglas Wells
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Re: Death of Brian Douglas Wells, the exploding pizza delivery man

Post by Rocketman on January 30th 2016, 8:30 pm

Had not heard of this until now lol. Theres some weirdos out there!
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Re: Death of Brian Douglas Wells, the exploding pizza delivery man

Post by ophion1031 on March 20th 2016, 1:49 am

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Re: Death of Brian Douglas Wells, the exploding pizza delivery man

Post by JohnFester on March 29th 2016, 12:35 am

Insanity. Pure insanity.
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