Libertarian and second amendment rights activist, Kokesh pleads guilty

Adam Kokesh made a surprise guilty plea today just two weeks after stating he was not guilty. Photo: Still picture from youtube video/ Adam Kokesh

WASHINGTON, November 6, 2013 — During an unscheduled hearing today, Libertarian and second amendment activist Adam Kokesh made a surprise plea of guilty on charges which stemmed from an incident on the fourth of July.

On July 4, 2013, Kokesh videotaped himself loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza inside Washington D.C., where carrying weapons on the street is illegal. He was arrested at his home in Herndon, Virginia on July 9 where additional weapons and a small amount of marijuana were also found.

Online court records show that Kokesh accepted a plea today, just two weeks after he had pleaded not guilty to the same crimes, claiming that he was not guilty because he was exercising his constitutional rights.

Kokesh had been in a D.C. jail since his July arrest but was released today after the plea and will be sentenced on January 17, 2014.

After his initial plea of not guilty, a trial date was set for November 18 and Kokesh made the announcement that he intended to replace his attorney.

Today, accompanied by that new attorney, Kokesh pled guilty to carrying a shotgun, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition, and a separate charge of possession of marijuana.

At the time of his release, Kokesh was ordered by a  judge to neither go into Washington D.C., nor to possess any firearms. He will also need to check in with a court appointed supervisor on a weekly bases until his sentencing.

Kokesh’s trouble with the Washington D.C. law started earlier this year when he called for an armed march to take place inside the District, a city known to have some of the strictest gun restrictions in the nation, to take place on July 4.

When word on the planned march became known, police chief Cathy Lanier made it clear that her police force would treat anyone crossing into the city armed as a criminal, and they would be waiting for the protesters once they made it across the Virginia bridge into the city.

As the date came closer, Kokesh was arrested in Philadelphia at a “smoke in” protest for the legalization of marijuana, another cause Kokesh believes in.

Once he was released from the Philadelphia jail, Kokesh called off the planned armed march, leading some supporters to question who had come to see Adam in prison and what they had said to him to make him call the march off.

Instead of the march into Washington D.C., Kokesh called for every state to hold their own rally at local state offices. These local rallies never got the enthusiasm and passion behind them that the original D.C. march had.

As some supporters were trying to organize the local rallies, the question kept being asked, where was Adam going to be on July 4? To this question, Kokesh was silent.

Then on July 4, the now infamous Youtube video was released showing Kokesh, participating in a one man armed protest inside the District.

D.C. authorities immediately released a statement saying that the video would be examined and if they believed that it was authentic, charges would be filled. Five days later, police forcefully entered the home Kokesh shares with others in Fairfax County, Virginia and took him to jail.

At his sentencing in January, Kokesh could face more than six years in prison.

 

 

 

 


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Susan L Ruth

Susan L. Ruth is a long-time Washington, DC resident with extensive ties throughout the community.  She is a genealogical researcher and writer, and is an active volunteer in the Northern Virginia competitive swimming community.  Susan previously worked providing life-skills to head injured adults. 

Susan and her husband Kerry currently live in Northern Virginia with their three sons, Ryley, Casey and Jack and their American Bulldog, Leila.

 

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