Ed & Elaine Brown Case Set for June

March 16, 2009

According to the Concord Monitor:

Judge delays Browns’ trial until late June

Defendants requested six-month continuance

By Margot Sanger-Katz
Monitor staff

Ed and Elaine Brown’s trial for conspiracy, weapons and explosives charges will be postponed until late June, the judge overseeing the case has decided.

Despite their stated refusal to participate in federal court proceedings and a recent refusal to accept any documents sent by prosecutors, the Browns filed a flurry of documents with the court last week, including one requesting a six-month trial delay and another labeled “Bill of Peace.”

Citing the “complex nature of the case,” Judge George Singal allowed a continuance of the trial until June 29.

The Browns were convicted of tax-related crimes in January 2007, but they resisted capture for nearly nine months, stockpiling weapons, entertaining guests and issuing public threats against law enforcement figures. They were captured by an undercover team of U.S. marshals, who posed as supporters.

Prosecutors have charged the couple with a series of crimes that could result in life sentences if they are convicted of the most serious charges. They are accused of building and handling improvised explosive devices including pipe bombs, antipersonnel mines, exploding rifle targets and gunpowder grenades. Their trial had originally been scheduled for April.

The Browns, who led a local militia in the 1990s and have long been active in right-wing, anti-government groups, argued during their arraignments that the court had no jurisdiction over their case. Both Ed and Elaine Brown refused to enter pleas, rejected court-appointed defense attorneys and said they would not participate in the cases against them.

During their tax trial in 2007, they expressed a similar skepticism about the court’s jurisdiction but participated in their defense until the very end. Both Ed and Elaine Brown represented themselves at that trial and cross-examined prosecution witnesses. But they abandoned their trial at the end of the prosecution’s case and took to their self-sufficient Plainfield home. Ed Brown never returned to court. Elaine Brown returned, mounted a pro se defense, then joined her husband at their castle-like concrete house while free on bail awaiting sentencing.

This month, Singal ordered that the couple be allowed to meet daily and receive discovery materials to plan their joint defense. Prosecutors told the court that they had prepared nearly 4,000 pages of interview transcripts, laboratory tests and other documents, as well as laptops for each of the Browns loaded with 18 GB of photographs and videos relevant to their case.

According to a prosecution filing, the Browns refused all of the discovery materials. On the front of a letter explaining the inventory, Elaine Brown wrote: “Refused for Cause Without Dishonor, UCC 3-501 et seq[,] Cause: (1) Misnomer, attempt to deliver materials to wrong party: (2) attempt at barratry. By: Elaine-Alice Brown© Auth. Rep. March 6, 2009 AD.”

The Browns also filed their own documents with the court, several of which Singal has already denied as “frivolous.” The documents, which all include handwritten copyright signs beside each appearance of the Browns’ names, ask for a delay of trial, ask the government to produce bonds “attached to this case,” and protest the pleas of not guilty entered on their behalf by Magistrate Judge James Muirhead. They demand a $50,000 royalty for anyone who uses their names, and sworn affidavits notarized and signed in red ink.

In one motion, called a “Bill of Peace,” the Browns ask the court to refer to them as “One.” In recent years, the Browns have asked the court to call them “Ed Brown” and “Elaine Brown”; “Edward-Lewis: Brown” and “Elaine-Alice: Brown”; and, at one time, “Ed, a Living Soul in the Body of the Lord, of the House of Israel” and “Elaine, a Living Soul in the Body of the Lord, of the House of Israel.”

The document states that One is “not an enemy” of “Life, God, the laws of being, natural law, truth, love, good will, peace, eternal verities, sanity and the highest universal principles of mankind.”

But it warns prosecutors that if they do not swear to agree with these and other principles, their choice will be viewed as “a deliberate act of war against One, the united States of America and the government and people thereof, and treason against the Constitution for the United States, 1787.”

Prosecutors have not yet responded.


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