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.