On October 6, 2011 a Dearborn County, Indiana jury found me guilty of three counts of intimidation because I criticized public officials via the internet. There were no threats of violence or illegal activity. My public speech that was peacefully transmitted from my computer did not incite panic nor was it a call for lawless action. My public speech consisted of my views, opinions, and experiences with/of the family court system. Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard convinced a jury that I said too much and used the wrong words in my public speech. But in the process of stripping me of my First Amendment rights, Prosecutor Negangard deprived me of my Second Amendment right as well.
“He’s got a gun” is a phrase that, if taken out of context, can incite fear. If you use the phrase at an NRA function someone will probably inform you of the fact that everyone at the function probably owns a gun. Rather than respect my Second Amendment right to own a firearm, Prosecutor Negangard used my gun ownership to instill fear in the members of the grand jury and trial jury in my case. If you yell “shark” at the beach, people will swim for their lives to get out of the water regardless of whether a shark is present. This was the tactic of Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard. He yelled “Gun!” just to bring fear to the jurors.
I’ve never been accused of committing a gun-related crime. I’ve never been accused of having a gun related accident. It seems I am constantly being accused of owning firearms and people continue to punish me for it. During my divorce, my wife testified that I purchased a 357 Magnum after she filed for divorce. She testified that she wanted the handgun in the property settlement because she felt the gun was dangerous and should be destroyed. Despite the fact I purchased the gun after she filed for divorce and the fact that there were no reports of the gun being used improperly, Judge James D. Humphrey awarded a 357 Magnum handgun to someone who had never even fired a gun. Humphrey’s orders came out on August 18, 2009 and I have yet to turn over the handgun. Why? Because it may be against Indiana law.
Indiana law prohibits someone from transferring ownership of a firearm to someone they believe may be mentally ill. At the very least, my ex-wife wanted possession of my 357 magnum just to punish me. That’s not a very compelling reason to give someone a dangerous handgun especially a person with absolutely no experience in handling firearms. She wasn’t concerned about safety or violence because there were several other guns of mine that were listed in the property distribution that she had no interest in. Her hatred for me was so great that she wanted ownership of a handgun, which I purchased after she filed for divorce, just to punish me. I just don’t feel comfortable with turning over a handgun to someone whose only purpose in acquiring the gun was to, at the very least, cause me emotional harm.
“He’s got a 357 Magnum handgun and nobody knows where it is.” This was part of Prosecutor Negangard’s closing argument. Number one, the issue was irrelevant because it had nothing to do with the charges. Number two; he wouldn’t have raised the issue if it were kitchen utensils that I failed to return, rather than a 357 Magnum handgun. I feel comfortable in knowing that my ex-wife does not have the gun especially after listening to/reviewing her testimony to the court and grand jury in my criminal trial. She told the grand jury that I threatened her with physical violence on several occasions. She never made any such accusations during the custody evaluation and the 2 ½ year divorce. She never contacted the police about the alleged threats. I have not had any contact with her for over two years. These alleged threats never occurred. If she truly believes these things then she has some serious psychological issues. If she lied to the grand jury about the alleged threats of violence in the hopes of sending me to prison and further alienating her own daughters from their father, then her venomous and vindictive hatred for me has no boundaries. Neither of the above scenarios are characterizations of someone who I would deem to be psychologically fit to possess a firearm; especially around my daughters.
“You can’t go into a crowed room and yell fire.” Negangard used this analogy in an effort to portray my peaceful writings as an attempt to incite panic. It was Negangard who yelled “fire” except he used the word “gun.” Members of the NRA and gun owners across the United States should be very concerned about this situation. The government may not be able to take you guns, but Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negnagard is trying to set a precedence of using legal and constitutionally protected gun ownership as a means to scare juries into returning guilty verdicts. This sort of thing goes on in a county that has a state senator who is also on the Board of Directors of the NRA. Contact NRA Board Member Senator Johnny Nugent and other NRA officials and tell them to put pressure on prosecutors like F. Aaron Negangard who criminalized legal gun ownership. Please help prevent government officials like Prosecutor Negangard from desecrating the Constitution of the United States of America.
Contact Dan/family at: firstname.lastname@example.org