Shelbyville Daily Union

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April 12, 2007

Sandy Brooks' kidnapper free

CLAREMORE, Okla. — A man accused of kidnapping country music star Garth Brooks' ex-wife is free after more than a year in jail awaiting prosecution.

Quintine Harper was released from the Rogers County Jail after reaching an agreement with the district attorney’s office to reduce the charges against him.

On Tuesday, Harper pleaded no contest to an amended charge of felony kidnapping and two misdemeanor counts of pointing a firearm. He was handed a seven-year suspended sentence minus one year in the Rogers County Jail for kidnapping, and six months in jail for the two firearms charges, with credit given for the one year and six days he had already spent in a county cell. In addition, Harper was ordered to pay a $300 fine — $100 for each charge — plus court costs.

The deal was reached last week after Harper waived his right to a jury trial. At that time, Harper was facing up to 70 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors accused Harper of kidnapping Brooks last April after their romantic relationship had ended and she had turned him in to bondsmen for missing a Tulsa County court date. A Tulsa County charge of embezzlement against Harper eventually was dismissed due to lack of a victim.

Although Brooks testified Harper never pointed his gun at her during the several-mile drive he ordered her to take, she said she was in fear for her life. Brooks said Harper ordered her to drive to a bank and withdraw the $16,000 it would take to cover his bond and keep him out of jail, which she did not do.

Brooks told the court she drove west on Highway 20 toward Owasso before stopping in a convenience store parking lot near Highway 169 and jumping out of her vehicle. Bondsmen, along with Rogers County and Owasso law enforcement agents, then chased Harper, who the bondsmen said pointed his weapon at them during the chase.

For now, defense attorney Bill Higgins said, Harper will stay in the area, but will “probably” venture back to Fayetteville, Ark., — the place he listed as his residence when arrested. Harper will remain on supervised probation for the next six years. He had no prior felony convictions, according to Higgins.



Krystal J. Carman writes for Claremore (Okla.) Progress.

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