After almost 15 years, what is believed to be the longest armed standoff in American history quietly came to a peaceful close Wednesday.

“Being a peace officer, you do have some emotions — that you would like to see him brought before court and the case tried — but on the other hand, was it worth all that it might have cost to do that?” said Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt.

John Joe Gray was arrested in 1999 for assaulting a state trooper during a traffic stop. Gray said it was his God-given right to carry the pistol he had that day, without a concealed handgun license. When the trooper tried to arrest him, Gray admits getting into a scuffle and biting him.

Gray was eventually charged with assaulting a public servant. But he refused to return to court, and instead, armed himself at home.

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