A responsible man posts his land to notify trespassers. A responsible man is prepared to deal with problems should they arise. A responsible man refuses to take a plea when he is innocent. The police state hates a responsible man for he has little use for the grand machine, the State.
As the story goes, in March of 2006 a person was looking to buy some land in Moultonborough, NH. This person missed a connection with a realtor and set off to find a property abutting Ward Bird’s property. Ward, being a responsible man, had his land well posted “No Trespassing”. The real estate shopper passed and ignored 8-9 of said signs on the way out to the Bird’s home. Ward had received a call from his niece, who had run into the real estate shopper, to let him know the shopper was in the area.
When the shopper/trespasser arrived at Ward’s home he told the trespasser to leave, or he waved a gun around and said ‘get the f#$% out of here.’ Either way no shot was fired and the only harm done in the exchange was the trespass upon Bird’s property. Police were called by one or both parties. As far as I know the trespasser was not charged with a crime. Ward Bird was charged with criminal threatening.
Bird, being innocent, refused to take a plea deal which involved no jail time. The first trial of this case ended in a mistrial. The State, having unlimited resources, brought Bird to trial a second time. A jury, public educated I’m sure, found Bird guilty and under minimum sentencing he received 3-6 years in prison. The Supreme Court of NH affirmed the decision on appeal.
Ward reported to the state prison on Nov. 17 and support has been growing in a movement to get him released. As a new mover with the Free State Project to the lakes region, I joined 200 new friends and neighbors at a rally on Thursday Nov 18, at Picnic Rock Farms.
A recent story in the Union Leader newspaper set off my bullshit alarm.
“If you have someone unarmed coming to his property and he knows it, that’s what put it over the edge for us,” said Carroll County Attorney Robin Gordon, the person who decided to prosecute Bird on the felony criminal threatening charge.
Unless Ward Bird is manning a TSA gropepoint at the end of his driveway, he has no way of ‘knowing’ the trespasser is unarmed.
I’m sorry to say there are a lot of legal details missing from this story. I don’t see how you get from a small skirmish to a prison cell. I suspect that Ward Bird is an honest man who didn’t realise he was living in a police state. I suspect he talked to police when he should have said nothing. I had wondered if there was some other reason the police might want to give him a hard time, but those who know Ward know of no previous disputes with the police in Moultonborough.
Ignore the police state at your own peril.