A typical day at the Capital Gallery in Bismarck, North Dakota:
Let Julie Lawyer be judged by her treatment of a 70 year old disabled Vietnam Veteran.
In July of 2018, 70 year old Raymond Geffre of Bismarck, was startled by a trespasser on his rural property, which was posted with “No Trespassing” signs. Raymond Geffre, did not know this person, or why he had driven onto his property. He approached the driver of the vehicle, carrying a cell phone in one hand, and a pistol in the other hand.
The driver of the vehicle, 53 year old Edward Weber, was an employee of a garage door company, who had gone to the wrong address. Edward Weber telephoned the Burleigh County Sheriff Department, and stated that he was threatened with a firearm.
The Burleigh County Sheriff Department later arrested Raymond Geffre for “Terrorizing”, a Class C Felony which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison in North Dakota.
The Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer, believes that Raymond Geffre should be prosecuted for “Terrorizing”, even though this would be a misinterpretation and misapplication of the “Terrorizing” statute, and a failure to understand the important legal principle, that when someone is exercising their legal right to defend themselves and their property, while on their own property, some actions are legal, which otherwise might not be legal under different circumstances.
The North Dakota statute on “Terrorizing” was meant to define an activity that was a criminal activity, not someone exercising their legal right to defend themselves and their property while on their own property.
This section of North Dakota Law, CHAPTER 12.1-17, ASSAULTS – THREATS – COERCION – HARASSMENT, is all about criminal activity, and it applies to persons engaged in illegal activity. If it is not understood that this section of North Dakota Law is about criminal activity, and that it applies to persons engaged in illegal activity, then Law Enforcement Officers, Corrections Officers, Active Duty Military, Citizens legally lawfully defending themselves, and others would be guilty of committing each of these crimes every day.
A person is guilty of a class C felony if, with intent to place another human being in fear for that human being’s or another’s safety or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious disruption or public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror, disruption, or inconvenience, the person:
1. Threatens to commit any crime of violence or act dangerous to human life; or
2. Falsely informs another that a situation dangerous to human life or commission of a crime of violence is imminent knowing that the information is false.
I have read where the Burleigh County Sheriff and Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer are quoted citing only the preface or condition to the act “…with intent to place another human being in fear for that human being’s or another’s safety…” as if this is the only requirement for the charge of Terrorizing, when this is not the requirement for the charge of Terrorizing, it is only the preface or condition to the act.
After the preface or condition of the act is set forth, the act is that the person “1. Threatens to commit any crime of violence or act dangerous to human life;” Both the condition and the act itself must have occurred in order for a person to be guilty of this criminal charge of “Terrorizing”. And again, this statute was meant to define an illegal activity, not the lawful defense of an individual and his property, while on his own property.
Putting aside the fact that Raymond Geffre had the legal right to defend himself and his property while on his own property, which neither the Burleigh County Sheriff or Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer understand this very important legal principle that Raymond Geffre’s right to defend himself makes some actions legal which under different circumstances might not have been legal, putting this aside, did Raymond Geffre commit the act of “Threatening to commit any crime of violence or act dangerous to human life” if he did in fact point his pistol at Edward Weber?
The answer is that no, Raymond Geffre did not commit the act of “Threatening to commit any crime of violence or act dangerous to human life” even if he did point his pistol at Edward Weber. The requirements of the charge of “Terrorizing” are not met.
Why are the Burleigh County Sheriff and the Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer ignoring and denying 70 year old disabled Vietnam Veteran Raymond Geffre’s legal right to defend himself and his property while on his own property? Why are the Sheriff and Julie Lawyer not following the law?
Why are the Burleigh County Sheriff and Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer misinterpreting and misapplying the “Terrorizing” charge in order to send a 70 year old disabled Vietnam Veteran to prison for a mandatory minimum 2 years without eligibility for parole?
After suffering a traumatic brain injury and severe hearing loss in Vietnam in 1969, Raymond Geffre left active duty in the 101st Army Airborne as a Sergeant, returned home to the U.S. and served in the Army Reserve for decades. He became employed as firefighter for 25 years, before beginning work as a Fire Marshall inspector, and retired in 2008.
After Raymond Geffre was wrongfully charged with “Terrorizing” by the Burleigh County Sheriff Department, he was arrested, taken to jail, and had his “mug shot” taken, at the age of 70 years old. And all of his firearms were seized by the Burleigh County Sheriff Department.
Is this any way to treat an old disabled Vietnam Veteran, who confronted a trespasser on his own property, who had disregarded the “No Trespassing” signs that were posted? Why does Raymond Geffre no longer have the right to defend himself and his property according the Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert and Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer?
Julie Lawyer has announced that she is seeking election as Burleigh County State’s Attorney. I don’t think that she should be elected to anything, if she disregards people’s right to defend themselves and their property while on their own property, and tries to misinterpret and misapply laws in order to mistreat and try to send 70 year old disabled Veterans to prison for two years.
On October 16, I read an article in the Bismarck Tribune newspaper about a 70 year old disabled Vietnam Veteran named Raymond Geffre, who is being charged by Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney, Julie Lawyer, with the felony of “Terrorizing”, after Raymond Geffre confronted a trespasser on his property in July of 2018. Ordinarily, I might not give a shit, except for this felony charge of “Terrorizing” carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison.
A short summary of what happened, was an employee of Midland Garage Door Manufacturing Company (and/or Midwest Doors?), 53 year old Edward Weber, was looking for a home in a rural area where he was supposed to perform work, he turned down a driveway that was not the home where he was supposed to work, and he was confronted by 70 year old Raymond Geffre, “who had a cell phone in one hand, and a pistol in the other hand.”
Raymond Geffre lives alone, he lost most of his hearing from an injury in Vietnam, he can barely hear, he wears two hearing aids, which he did not have on at the time of the incident, because he was working on a project in his yard. He was startled, and confused about what someone was doing on his property, there wasn’t supposed to be anyone on his property, because he said that he had “No Trespassing” signs posted.
The garage door company employee, Edward Weber, telephoned the Burleigh County Sheriff Department, and said that he was threatened with a gun, that the gun was pointed at him. The homeowner, Raymond Geffre, has denied pointing his gun at Edward Weber during the incident.
What I have written up above, is a brief summary of facts about the incident, with very little of my opinion included yet. Continuing below, I explain what is so wrong about this.
First, my opinion, is that the garage door company employee Edward Weber is a piece of shit. It is claimed that he disregarded a “No Trespassing” sign, at a home in a rural area. But even if there was no “No Trespassing” sign posted, he realized that he was at the wrong address, and that he had startled an old man who didn’t understand what he was doing on his property. Edward Weber should have been grateful that he wasn’t shot, shot at, or harmed.
Edward Weber telephoned the Sheriff Department, to say that he was threatened with a firearm, and that he was in fear for his life. In the United States, if you go onto someone else’s property in a rural area, and you were not invited, and you startle an elderly man who lives alone, yes your life might be threatened, where have you been for the past 50 years? Have you not been paying attention your whole life?
How do you think this 70 year old disabled man felt? Besides not being able to hear hardly at all, he suffered a traumatic brain injury in Vietnam. Don’t you think that he was in fear for his life too? Living by himself in a rural area, and being 70 years old, how else is he going to defend himself and his property, when someone comes onto his property without permission, and he has no idea what they are doing there, or what their intentions are?
Second, I think that Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney, Julie Lawyer, is the absolute epitome of a woman being in a position, whose intellect and judgment is far below what you would find in a man in the same position. I am sick and tired of this, and it is time for everyone to be forced to acknowledge this, that some women are given the benefit of the doubt again and again and again, and are not being held to the same standard as men, and what you end up with is women in the position of Assistant State’s Attorney, who are incompetent.
There could not be a more fundamental right in the United States, than for an individual to protect themselves and their property from harm, while on their own property.
What Julie Lawyer does not appear to understand, is that in defense of oneself and one’s own property, certain acts are justified, which otherwise might not have been legal.
If Raymond Geffre had believed that his life was in imminent danger, not only would he have been justified in pointing a firearm at Edward Weber, he might have even been justified in shooting Edward Weber. In my own reading on the subject of defense of persons and defense of property, I read this quote, which was a determination made by the Supreme Court of Colorado:
In People v. La Voie, Supreme Court of Colorado, (1964), The court wrote, “When a person has reasonable grounds for believing, and does in fact actually believe, that danger of his being killed, or of receiving great bodily harm, is imminent, he may act on such appearances and defend himself, even to the extent of taking human life when necessary, although it may turn out that the appearances were false, or although he may have been mistaken as to the extent of the real actual danger.”
I included this quote to point out how both Edward Weber and Assistant State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer are mistaken, the legal precedent is, that when a person believes that they are in imminent danger of being killed or receiving great bodily harm, they may act and defend themselves, even to the extent of taking human life when necessary, although it may turn out that the appearances were false, or although they may have been mistaken as to the extent of the real actual danger.
In other words, where Julie Lawyer is very, very wrong, is that it makes no difference at all that Edward Weber was at the wrong address, or had been called to perform work at some other address, it only matters what Raymond Geffre believed, even though he may have been mistaken as to the extent of the real or actual danger.
A judge has not yet made the decision on whether or not to dismiss this case, as Raymond Geffre’s defense attorney has requested. There is not even any evidence that Raymond Geffre ever even pointed his pistol at Edward Weber. This case should not have even been brought forward by the prosecutor, as there is no evidence that would support the charge of “Terrorizing”.
I am not done criticizing Julie Lawyer, no one should get away with unnecessarily and carelessly tormenting an old disabled military veteran, by threatening to put him in prison for 2 years for defending himself and his property.
Note: The Bismarck Tribune newspaper article dated October 16, 2018 states that Edward Weber was an employee of Midwest Doors. The actual criminal affidavit court document states that Edward Weber was an employee of Midland Garage Door Manufacturing Company. The Bismarck, North Dakota distributor for Midland Garage Door Manufacturing Company is Midwest Doors. You can call and ask who Edward Weber was working for, at Midwest Doors of Bismarck telephone 701-223-7664, and at Midland Garage Door Manufacturing Company telephone 800-437-4056.