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June 28, 2007
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Convicted rapist flees court, tries to shoot Mich. detective

The Associated Press

ATLANTA, Mich. A rape defendant reacted violently to his conviction Wednesday, running from the courtroom, grabbing a shotgun from his vehicle and trying to shoot a detective, authorities say.

Robert K. Becker, 45, was being tried on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Montmorency County Sheriff Douglas Baum said in a news release. The circuit court is in Atlanta in the northern Lower Peninsula, about 190 miles north of Detroit.

After the verdict came in and Becker was ordered jailed, he "fled with officers in pursuit," Baum said.

"In the parking lot, Becker retrieved a pump-action shotgun from his vehicle, aimed it at a Grand Traverse (County) sheriff's department detective," the sheriff said. "Fortunately, the firearm jammed, and Becker was placed into custody after a short struggle."

No one was hurt, Baum said. He said Becker was taken to the county jail to await sentencing on the rape charge and new charges on the escape and shooting attempt.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

Details of the case were not available. The sheriff's department declined further comment after business hours Wednesday.

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