Brian Douglas Wells

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Brian Douglas Wells (November 15, 1956 – August 28, 2003) was an American pizza delivery man who was killed by a time bomb fastened to his neck, purportedly under coercion from the maker of the bomb. After he was apprehended by the police for robbing a bank, the bomb exploded. 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 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, and witnesses confirmed hearing a gunshot, in order to force Wells’ compliance. 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.

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