Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on April 17, 1972 · Page 40
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 40

Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Monday, April 17, 1972
Page 40
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40.:GREELEY (Colo.) TRIBUNE Mon., April 17,1972 Accused Hijacker Faces Possible Death Sentence \ By DAVID BRISCOW '; Auoclifcd Prtsi Writer ; ;PROVO, Utah (AP)-Ricliard F;. McCoy, an affable Vietnam veteran doing well in law enforcement classes at Brigham Ypung University, had a steady Income to support his family of four and v/as active in Ins church. JBut now he faces a rxissiulc death sentence if convicted on a charge of hijacking an airliner and bailing out with $500,- 000 ransom within miles of his home. When FBI agents swooped down on McCoy's neatly kept brown brick house last Sunday, pulled him away in military fa ligucs and later carried out a large cardboard box they said contained $499,970, McCoy's neighbors and friends were shocked. Exactly one week later, McCoy's wife, Karen, has been secluded from the public, house is locked up and those 80S »lh ST. - GREELEY. COLO. Because we are RELIABLE . . . You can be sure that we'll help you to decide on the type of i n s u r a n c e program that is right for you and your f a m i l y . "The Protection People" L J who knew him remain incredulous. United Air Lines officials called (or quick prosecution of McCoy and suggested imposition of the death penally. Within five days, a hurriedly called federal grand jury issued an in- (litcinenl in the case and three others involving threats against airliners in Utah. McCoy demonstrated the use of parachute and hand grenade, a classmate, Konn Apolstol, said. l!ul Miss Apolslol said McCoy was "clean-cut, well-groomed and polite. I wouldn't think of him as a hijacker," she said. The news jolted the cons o r v a t i v c Mormon BYU campus. "The fact that they accused a law enforcement major kind of threw me," student Susan Pellijohn said in a campus newspaper interview. Oilier students showed concern for the school's image. hard (he Mormon to see BYU Church kind of publicity," said Shane Lloyd. Some students accused McCoy's father, Richardlnews media of playing up the McCoy Sr., said in lialciglijfact (hat McCoy was a BYU N.C., he had to consider his son innocent, but added, "1 just don't know," lie said. "War does funny things to people sometimes." McCoy, 23, served as a Green Beret in 10C4 and a helicopter pilot in 19B7 and since then has been a warrant officer in the Utah National Guard. The charges say the military gave McCoy the pericncc which thu flying United the Air student and a Mormon. His teacher in law enforcement classes said he was an average student who got his work in on time. A classmate, Krezel wanted Peters, said to break up Lines pilot mainlained jacker must have had. In McCoy's only public appearance since his arrest--at arraignment--he chatted joked with FBI agents about his war experiences, said he was embarrassed ;il (he presence of newsmen and apologi/cd for tlic military clothing, saying he didn't wantj to discredit bis guard unit. He changed into a grey suit and combed his hair for the formal proceedings, remaining calm throughout. McCoy was arrested while preparing for guard drill. A diiy earlier he flew over the Utah Lake area in a guard helicopter as 200 law officers hunted the hijacker on the ground below. The charges also pointed to his experience as a skyclivcr. lie had 30 jumps. But companions at the Alta Skydiving Center said (bey all talked about how they would hijack a plane and couldn't believe McCoy had been arrested. Bill Dausc, instructor, said McCoy was moderately proficient hut bad never made a night jump hi a BYU speech class 1-K family and was strongly opposed to organized crime. Friends said he was also serious about his church work and taught Sunday school until a few months ago. His students described him as a kind teacher--one who always talked about sin. His religious home teacher, Guy Potter, pictured McCoy as somewhat reserved said his wife was facing operations for a bone disease. 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