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Lions Den hostage suspect waives preliminary exam

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The man accused of taking a hostage during a barricaded standoff with police in Branch County nearly two weeks ago waived his right to a preliminary exam yesterday in Branch County District Court. 39-year-old Joseph Leiffer of Carleton, Michigan, remains lodged in the Branch County Jail, but had his bond reduced from $250,000 to $90,000. He was bound over to Circuit Court for trial; his next court date is scheduled for Monday, September 15.

Leiffer is charged with felony fleeing and eluding, felony firearm, and kidnapping in connection with what happened July 22nd at the Lion's Den Adult Entertainment Center north of Coldwater. That's where he surrendered peacefully to authorities after a 3-hour standoff. There were no injuries as he released the female clerk from the store. Leiffer is also named on a felony warrant for embezzlement out of his hometown of Carleton, where he was the former Village treasurer.

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