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Man accused in credit union hostage case can now stand trial

Nicholas Humphrey found competent for prosecution after more than 2 years

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Nicholas Humphrey
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Nicholas Humphrey


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man facing 13 counts of kidnapping in a credit union hostage case from 2016 is now competent to stand trial, a judge ordered in May.

Nicholas Humphrey, who is charged with holding hostages at gunpoint inside a Jacksonville credit union in December 2016, was found not fit for trial four times in mental evaluations ordered by the court.

But on May 30, a psychologist submitted a report that Humphrey is now competent to assist in his own defense, and a judge entered an order to have him stand trial.

Humphrey, who was being held at the state hospital in Baker County, opted to accept the doctor's findings and waived a hearing on the mental competency report.

He will be in court July 18 for a pretrial hearing on the kidnapping and armed robbery charges.

Police said surveillance video showed Humphrey walking into the Community First Credit Union on Edgewood Avenue in Northwest Jacksonville just after it opened on Dec. 1, 2016, with a gun, a dog on a leash and a pail of dog food. Police said he fired one shot into the ceiling.

The hostages -- seven of whom were employees at the credit union -- were freed when a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office SWAT team made entry. There were no injuries.

One of the hostages, Frank Brown, spoke with News4Jax on the day of the incident.

"He was going to kill everybody. He had them all in the room sitting like ducks," Brown said.

During the terrifying ordeal, Brown, who said he was hiding with an employee, saw an opportunity to make a break for it but stumbled. 

"He had them all in a room. I said, 'Let's go.' I jumped up to go, (but) my leg was asleep. I took out about three rows of chairs -- boom boom boom. But that was good because that startled him to get everybody else a chance to run out the door,” Brown said.

A short time later, police rescued the hostages.