Last Republic of Texas Separatist Sentenced to 90 Years in Prison


The last of five Texas separatists charged with kidnapping a couple that led to an armed standoff with police has been sentenced to 90 years in prison.

Pecos County Dist. Atty. Albert Valadez said a jury convicted Richard Keyes on Thursday of burglary for his role in the assault in April 1997 on the home of Joe and Margaret Ann Rowe.

The raid on the Rowe home sparked a weeklong standoff outside the Republic of Texas separatist group's compound in the remote Davis Mountains. The standoff ended when Republic of Texas leader Richard McLaren and his followers surrendered. Keyes escaped and was captured five months later near Houston.

McLaren and his other followers have all been sentenced to long prison terms.

The Republic of Texas members claimed that Texas' 1845 annexation into the United States was illegal and that Texas is therefore an independent nation with its own laws.

The Rowes were targeted by the group because they had criticized McLaren in local land disputes.

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