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Originally published April 29, 2014 at 6:19 AM | Page modified April 29, 2014 at 1:14 PM

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Bail set at $250K for man in Utah highway standoff

A Utah judge on Monday set bail at $250,000 for one of five suspects in a Louisiana killing after police say he held a child hostage in a car on a southern Utah highway.


Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY —

A Utah judge on Monday set bail at $250,000 for one of five suspects in a Louisiana killing after police say he held a child hostage in a car on a southern Utah highway.

Authorities had been seeking Zeland Adams on an arrest warrant in the killing of Jamary Quincy Wafer, 27, of Kent, Wash., who was shot and lit on fire before turning up April 14 near a motel in Tallulah, La., said Louisiana State Police spokesman Albert Paxton.

Police have arrested three other suspects in Tacoma, Wash., and San Antonio, Texas, in connection with Wafer's death.

Authorities believe the men have ties to a Mexican drug cartel and the group retaliated against Wafer after he stole drugs, Louisiana State Police said in a statement to The Associated Press. The day before Wafer was killed, the six men had checked into a Days Inn in Tallulah, about 180 miles northeast of New Orleans, police said.

In Utah, Adams, 28, surrendered and safely released the 2-year-old boy at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday near Beaver, about 210 miles south of Salt Lake City, ending a five-hour standoff, Utah authorities said.

He was jailed in Iron County on suspicion of evading police, kidnapping, endangering a child, marijuana possession and reckless driving.

Adams is accused of fleeing from a traffic stop and leading officers on a high-speed chase that reached speeds of 130 mph before he locked himself in the car and threatened to harm the 2-year-old. The car hit a pickup during the chase, but no injuries were reported.

Negotiators eventually talked Adams into surrendering after he called family members from multiple cellphones, telling them he was willing to shoot at police, Utah Highway Patrol Capt. Barton Blair said.

Earlier, police had stopped the vehicle at a Cedar City gas station along Interstate 15, where Adams, sitting in a back seat, produced a false driver's license, Blair said. The child's mother, a 24-year-old woman from Fresno, Calif., was driving at the time.

Adams is accused of driving off with the boy after a later stop, leaving the woman and a 30-year-old California man behind. It's unclear how the three adults knew each other, Blair added, and the two California residents are not suspected in Wafer's death. They are unlikely to face charges related to the standoff, he said.

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Associated Press writers Bill Fuller and Janet McConnaughey contributed from New Orleans.



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