Accused hostage-taker pleads not guilty - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Accused hostage-taker pleads not guilty

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SHAWANO (WAOW) - A gunman accused of holding a fast food worker hostage in Wittenberg pleaded not guilty to four charges Monday after he was found competent to proceed in the case.

Travis Keiler, 29, of Gillett, was charged following a two-hour standoff at a McDonald's/Shell convenience store April 22. No one was hurt.

Keiler was taken to a mental health center after the incident in which he agreed to surrender peacefully after police promised to take him there and not jail, the criminal complaint said. He was evaluated and a judge found him competent Monday after a doctor submitted a report, court records said.

Keiler pleaded not guilty to two felonies - taking hostages and failing to comply with officers - and two misdemeanors - carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct -- after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing, according to the Shawano County clerk of courts.

No trial date was immediately set.

Prosecutors say Keiler, armed with a .38-caliber pistol, kept the fast food worker hostage for about an hour before letting him go.

During negotiations to get Keiler to surrender, Keiler told a detective that he had quit his job in DePere and had been "driving all over the area" before ending up in Wittenberg with the stolen pistol, the criminal complaint said.

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