Not guilty pleas in Vegas sovereign citizen case


LAS VEGAS — A judge entered a not guilty plea for an ex-convict from California who argued the court had no authority over him, and a Las Vegas woman pleaded not guilty on her own behalf Tuesday to conspiring to kidnap police officers to draw attention to an anti-government sovereign citizen philosophy.

David Allen Brutsche declared during his arraignment in state court that he was "retaining all my inalienable rights," maintained that he should be released because no one had been harmed, and refused to state a plea. As he did in previous court appearances, he said he didn't want a lawyer appointed to represent him.

"I will not represent myself, either," said Brutsche, a convicted child sex offender who espouses an extremist anti-authority theory that people can declare themselves outside the bounds of federal and local legal constraints.

Federal law enforcement agencies characterize sovereign citizens as domestic terrorists. The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., tallies more than 100,000 loosely organized adherents, and blames the group for seven killings of law enforcement officers in the past 10 years in South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas and California.

Brutsche said Tuesday he was speaking on behalf of "the fictitious person David Allen Brutsche."

"Your objections are noted," Clark County District Court Hearing Master Melisa De La Garza responded.

The judge set trial for Dec. 9 on a felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge that could get Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman up to six years in prison if they're convicted.

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