Gentry Man Accused of Holding Family Hostage on Easter

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A Gentry man was arrested Sunday (March 31) after Benton County deputies say he held his family hostage on Easter.

Gary Thomas Sewell, 44, is in the Benton County Jail, facing charges of terroristic threatening, false imprisonment and aggravated assault.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Gentry Police Department responded to a report around noon on Sunday that Sewell was armed and holding his family hostage in a barn at 23123 Cripps West Road, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

As deputies maneuvered through about 400 yards of open fields and woods, Sewell walked around his property with a scoped rifle, the news release states.

Negotiator Deputy Diane Spain spoke with Sewell and learned his wife was in the barn and their children were in the house, according to the release.

During the negotiations, Sewell’s wife escaped from the barn and joined the children in the house, deputies said. When Sewell returned to the barn, deputies removed the family from the home.

Sewell was later taken into custody without incident after nearly two hours of negotiations, the release states.

Earlier in the day, Sewell had called a relative and said he was going to kill himself, according to the release. When one of his family members went to check on him, Sewell pointed a rifle at him, according to the release.

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