Michael Parsons’ Dream Trial of Escaping the Law through Diplomatic Immunity Turns Into A Defensive Nightmare for His Court Appointed Attorney

I have just read the criminal trial and sentencing transcripts filed January 3, 2019, as Documents 193,195,196,and 197 in The United States of America vs. Michael Wayne Parsons lawsuit, in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska (case no. 4:17-cr-03038-JMG-CRZ)

This three day trial took place August 28-30, 2018, with sentencing on December 7, 2018.  The indictment involved a felon in possession of a firearm charge.  Despite the extensive efforts of the defendant to thwart the prosecution’s evidence and witness testimony, and even the jurisdiction and laws of the United States of America, at the conclusion of the trial the jury found the defendant guilty.  A short news brief by the Department of Justice was released on the sentencing date.

In this article, I am going to extract portions of the courtroom testimony which illustrate the various tactics which Mike Parsons employed to counter the clear and convincing case against him. Since I am referencing only three percent of these 4 documents, note that these selections exclude vital testimonies and discussions of most of the exhibits referenced in this trial which were presented to the jury. (All bolding of transcript quotations is mine.)

Michael Wayne Parsons promotes himself as an Ambassador entitled to Diplomatic Immunity, using illegitimate legal documents created by a  Canadian-based sovereign citizen group.

On Day One, the Honorable John M. Gerrard, United States District Judge, introduced the prosecution as Mr. Jan W. Sharp and Mr. Jody B. Mullin, Assistant U. S. Attorneys; and the counsel for the defense as Mr. Donald L. Schense, Attorney at Law.

The Judge began by declaring, “This court has jurisdiction under Article III of the United States Constitution and 18, United States Code, 3231 with respect to all charged offenses against the laws of the United States and Mr. Parsons has been indicted or charged with violating 18, U. S. C., Section 922.  A plea of not guilty has been entered on his behalf.”

Michael Wayne Parsons

Right from the start of the trial, the defendant Michael Parsons interrupted the Judge’s commencement of proceedings by saying “Your Honor–.”  Wherefore the Court replied, “Just a minute.  And this matter’s ready to proceed to trial.  Counsel, would you please enter your appearance…all right. And for the defense..”.  To which Parsons asks, “May I stand?”

The Court:  You have counsel at this point of time.

The Defendant:  No, No, your Honor, I do not have counsel.  That’s–

The Court:  Well actually you do.  What–Enter your appearance, please.

The Defendant:  I object.  I do not consent to this man in any form, shape, or fashion, I have never consented to him in any form, shape or fashion to do anything on my behalf.

The Court:  We will take this up in a minute.  Enter your appearance, please.

Mr. Schense:  Good morning–

The Defendant:  I object to his placing an appearance.

Mr. Schense:  Good morning, Your Honor.  Don Schense, counsel for Mr.Michael Parsons, who is present, as the Court knows.

The Defendant:  I object.  Michael Parsons is not present.  I am Ambassador Michael Parsons of the Tsilhqot’in Nation.  I am not the defendant. (Doc 193, pg 4)

And then Michael Parsons complains about defense attorney Schense Much later on, Schense notes all that he has done to assist the defendant.

The Court:  Just a minute. So are you wishing to proceed pro se? I mean, are you wishing to proceed on your own?

The Defendant:  I’m not pro se. I’m a live man. I’m not representing a corporate fiction here today. I am — I am a live man. I’m not here to engage in commerce with this — I’m not sure if it’s a court or administrative tribunal…(Doc 193, pg 5)

Michael Parsons proceeds to argue, employing commonly held “sovereign citizen”  legal reasonings. The Court asks the Defendant a series of questions, which Parson replies, but not with an answer to the actual question posed by the Judge. Thus the Court rules that Mike Parsons will not be allowed to represent himself, but is assigned Attorney Schense, as full counsel.

Obstructionism

The Court:  … I want to be real clear on my ruling here. I’ve found your conduct throughout the proceedings but particularly today to be obstructionist. It has directly interfered with my ability to determine whether you can provide a knowing and voluntary waiver of your right to counsel. I have no evidence to — to base that on and I’m so finding. You’ve been obstructionist and I am going –(Doc 193, pg. 19)

The Defendant:  I object to that determination.  There’s no basis for that.  Because I don’t know the rules of the court because Your Honor will not disclose the form, it’s not obstructionist. I have a right to know, Your Honor. The Supreme Court has said so. In Bonds [sic] v. United States Bonds was clearly — the Supreme Court overturned the ruling because she had a right to know the form of court, and Your Honor’s not telling me the form of court so I don’t know what rules you’re going by. (Doc 193, pg 20)

The Court: That was the first sentence that came out of my mouth, sir.  All right.  Now here’s–here are the rules that we’re going to follow during the trial, and there is going to be a trial that’s commencing today, and it will be conducted in regular order.  Everyone, the government, you, or anybody else, any other litigant must follow the rules, A, as a matter of law and, B, as a matter of common court decorum and if you do so, you’ll be allowed to participate fully in this trial. In fact, I encourage you to do so.

It’s a court that’s — this court’s every desire to have you participant fully in the trial just as I allow any other pro se participant or somebody that’s  represented to — to participate in the trial.  But if you do not follow the rules, if you become disruptive, if you continue to be interruptive, we’re going to — we’re not going to have an argument in front of the jury, we’re not going to have a public display. I will simply stop the proceedings, I’ll excuse the jury for a brief period of time, and then I will remove you from the courtroom if the obstructionist behavior continues. If, on the other hand, you’re going to participate in this trial, follow the rules, you will be allowed to participate  throughout the trial. whether you wish to come back in, follow the rules of court and — and not be obstructionist.

The Defendant:  So may I — may I get this straight?   Because I cannot answer questions without knowing the rules,  that is the determination of — your definition of obstruction,   because I’m not able to answer your questions?

The Court:  If you are — if you become disruptive during the proceedings and the — and the trial does not — is not allowed to proceed in an orderly fashion, I’ll make that  determination. All right? Okay? So if I — and I will give you every opportunity, A, to not be disruptive and, B, to follow the rules. I’m going to give you every single opportunity that you can have. But if you choose to violate that and continue to be disruptive, I’ll have you removed from the — from the courtroom and you can view the trial from another venue.

The Defendant: But for the — but for the record for purposes of appeal, the basis by which you are declaring me to be an obstructionist is because I do not answer your questions pertaining to a birth date, my educational level and these questions before the Court today. Is that what you’re basing your —

The Court: Every single question I asked you, you didn’t answer one of them. Yes, and that’s what I’m basing my ruling on as far as you being obstructionist. (Doc.193, pg. 22)

Obstructionist Parsons Changes His Mind Too Late:  Do-overs Not Allowed in this Court

Mr. Schense: (Doc 193, pg. 39)  Yes, Judge, thank you.  Mr. Parsons has asked me to request of the Court another opportunity for the Court to pose the questions that it asked Mr. Parsons early this morning in terms of his age, his date of — or his date of birth, his educational level and his desires. He has asked me to have — ask the Court to reconsider its ruling to allow Mr. Parsons to represent himself in this matter. So on behalf of Mr. Parsons, I’m making that  request of the Court.

I believe Mr. Parsons would like you to pose the same 5  questions. I suspect he may give you different answers.

The Court: All right. Well, we don’t get do-overs in — in this court. I am — you know, I was concerned obviously about the obstructionist behavior this morning, and you can’t just say, oops, I want a do-over at — at this point in time.  But I’m also concerned, Mr. Parsons, with your view of the law and this Court’s authority. You’re entitled to that view  but that will not serve you well acting as your own counsel.

The government does have an interest in ensuring the integrity and the efficiency of a trial and — and at times, and this is one of those times, that outweighs your interest in — in acting as your — your own lawyer. Just a moment. Self-representation is not — is not something that can be utilized for disruptions, for distortion of the system or for manipulation of the — of the trial process and that is everything that I heard this morning. And it’s not just been this morning, but it’s been throughout the process.

So I will, number one, deny your right to self-representation.  Mr. Schense is a very experienced,  competent lawyer. He’s demonstrated that this morning. He’s  demonstrated that in the preparation for trial. (Doc 193, pg 40)

I’m a Judge too!

The Defendant:  (Doc 193, pg 43) Yes, sir. My — my objection was not to those instructions. It’s to before they retire to deliberate, those instructions would be the ones that if they’re not certain to the degree that they’re supposed to determine these facts, they may not even know the component of interference with interstate commerce, what that even means because Mr. Schense doesn’t understand these points of law. I — I’ve actually been a judge for the Universal Supreme Court now going on two years. I do have cases myself and am aware of these — these laws of this country.

The Court: All right. Well, the jurisdiction in this courtroom is — is the federal statutes and the United States Constitution. But we will talk about and argue about and discuss jury instructions before they are given…

I want the right to cross-examine certain witnesses (although I am not pro se)

The Defendant: And one last point. I would ask that I also be allowed to cross-examine certain witnesses. There are key points of information that need to be brought to the Court and the jury’s attention that Mr. Schense would not be aware of because he has not apprised himself of all these facts.

The Court:  Well, then I would suggest that you and Mr. Schense get together over the course of the next one hour and 15 minutes and this evening because Mr. Schense will be the one that will do direct examination and cross-examination. You will not be allowed to do so…(Doc 193, pg. 44)

The witnesses are sworn in and questioned by both the prosecution and the defense.

No tail identification on Michael Parsons’ airplane!  I wonder who erased that?

Weverka-Direct-(Sharp) (Doc 193, pg 91)

Sharp:  Was there anything unusual about that plane that you noted at that time?

Weverka:  Not exactly at that time, but when we went to put fuel in it, one of the things — or part of the information that needs  to be entered into the terminal was a tail number.

Sharp:  Okay, And what is it you noticed?

Weverka:  It had no tail number.

Day Two:  Collateral Attacks, Offers of Proof of Sovereign Citizen Counterfeit Court Proceedings

On Day 2, more witnesses are examined and cross-examined, and Mike Parsons allows his court appointed full counsel to represent his interests. Defense attorney Schense presents Offers of Proof involving documents prepared by those British Columbia sovereign citizens who have  unilaterally established a fake court and “legal” documents.

Document 195, page 160 shows the following comments.

Mr. Sharp: I do object, Your Honor, on relevance grounds.

The Court:  All right, very well. As the Court has noted earlier, diplomatic status cannot be unilaterally established.   There has to be some recognition by the Department of State. That’s the United States vs. Lumumba, 741 F.2d 12 — it’s a 1984 case — as well as Mazengo vs. Mzengi, 542 F. Supp. 2d 96. There are other cases along those lines, but any testimony with respect to Mr. Parsons being appointed as an ambassador or being a diplomat or not being subject to laws of the United States is not relevant.

The offer of proof — or the objection to the offer of proof is sustained.   You may go to the next offer of proof.

Conspirators!

The Court:  Okay. The next offer of proof is with respect to Patricia Parsons. You may proceed.

Mr. Schense: I’m not sure if I indicated or not before I talked to Mr. Parsons she’s in Aliceville, Alabama, in the Bureau of Prisons. Mrs. Parsons would testify to that she’s been married to Mr. Parsons for three — 33 years, that he’s engaged in the ministry, and she would obviously testify as to his character. Also, Judge, that in Mr. Parsons’ word — words, Mrs. Parsons was railroaded into her federal conviction.  Mrs. Parsons would offer testimony that since Mr. Parsons has lost a local election back in Tipton County, Alabama, some time ago that he has been the target of a conspiracy.  That conspiracy involves numerous people that work in the local law enforcement community and that, as a target, that has brought on his legal issues and problems within the local judicial system of Tipton County, Tennessee.

And she would offer testimony in that regard if — this goes to, apparently, the sheriff by the name of Donna Turner all the way down, and there’s been a concerted effort by all of those people in Tipton County to — against Mr. and Mrs. Parsons, and that would be the extent of the offer of proof.

The Court:  All right.  Any objection?

Mr. Sharp:  Objection on relevance grounds.  Also, it’s an attempt to undermine the prior conviction, which is an improper collateral attack. (Doc. 195, pg. 166-167)

International Protections

Mr. Schense:  Judge, the offer of proof would be that pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1116(b)(2), as a matter of law, Mr. — Mr. Parsons should — is not under the jurisdiction of this court or of the United States and that he could not be prosecuted pursuant to the charge presently against him contained in the indictment irrespective of recognition by the United States.

The Court:  All right.  I’ve taken judicial notice of the entire statute, including 18 U.S.C., Section 1116(b)(2), which I think Mr. Parsons wants me to look at.  I have pulled up the code section.  I will note that this particular statute is not relevant at all to this case or your argument for diplomatic immunity.  18 U.S.C. Section 1116 defines murder or manslaughter of foreign officials, official guests, or internationally protected persons, and for purposes of that particular section, the murder of an individual, it defines “foreign government” means the government of a foreign country, irrespective of recognition by the United States.  That simply refers to that particular statute.

I guess, Mr. Parsons, you would be relieved to know that if someone attempts to kill you that the perpetrator can be prosecuted in federal court, but other than that it has no relevance to this particular case.

The Defendant:  Except under 1201, kidnapping, it does.  It takes you right back to that, and I’m effectively kidnapped by the United States.

The Court:  Okay.  Well, it doesn’t matter whether it’s kidnapping or murder.  This does not define your diplomatic status.  So I will take judicial notice of the code section.  I have.  I find that it’s not relevant to this case, and this is but another reason why Mr. Schense has been appointed and will remain counsel to provide you with a professional and vigorous defense.

Day Three:  The Court gives the defendant Michael Parsons a formal warning.

The Court:  All right, very well.  Now, I’m not going to get into a big dispute or debate, Mr. Parsons.  I do want to issue this as a formal warning.  If there are any more disruptions or disorder in front of the jury, I will have you removed from the courtroom, and I don’t want to do that.

The Defendant:  I apologize, Your Honor.  I didn’t realize how loud I was talking.  I have virtually no hearing in my left ear, and I didn’t realize I was talking — my intent was not to be disruptive.

The Court: All right, very well.  As long as we have an understanding of each other.  This is a clear warning. (Doc. 196, pg. 20)

The Magic Document Exonerating Parsons-or so he hopes!

Mr. Schense: (Doc. 196, pg 44)  Defendant’s Exhibit 117, this is a 12-page document, and it’s got a file number, a stamp of the Universal Supreme Court of the Tsilhqot’in, January 18, 2016, Alexis Creek Court Registry. The hearing date was December 2nd, 2015.  The caption is In The Universal Supreme Court of the Tsilhqot’in between Michael Wayne Parsons, the appellant, and the State of Tennessee, the appellee.  This exhibit, Judge, goes as an offer of proof to the Court asking the Court to allow the jury to know that this matter was decided in the Universal Supreme Court of the Tsilhqot’in, and it was decided back in December of 2015.

And this has to go to the exoneration of Mr. Michael Parsons in the case from the state of Tennessee and specifically in terms of the — in terms of the conviction and judgment rendered against Mr. Parsons which is contained in Exhibit No. — that’s been offered by the government, Exhibit 31, and this — reasons for judgment.  That was signed by — well, there’s no signature on mine, but it’s The Honorable Chief Justice of the Universal Supreme Court, and that would be Sue Holland….

Sue Holland has her own mugshot, and it appears her probation terms disallow her from communicating with the Parsons. You see, she was involved in a scheme to kidnap a U. S. sheriff and judge.  This was the scheme that got Mrs. Parsons incarcerated.  And Mike Parsons thinks he can sway the court to trust the “legal” documents created by Sue Holland?

After going through the history and the facts and her legal analysis, Chief Justice Holland concludes on page 12, For the reasons above, it is hereby ordered that Mr. Michael Wayne Parsons was wrongfully and falsely charged and wrongfully and falsely convicted on counts of aggravated assault, burglary of a vehicle, theft by the state of Tennessee.  The wrongful convictions are nullified and set aside, and Mr. Parsons is fully pardoned [sic] henceforth by myself.  I make a Vancouver (City) versus Ward, 2010 SCC 27, ruling.  The state of Tennessee is ordered to pay Mr. Parsons $5,000 per diem accrued for each day Mr. Parsons spent in incarceration with respect to the 2007 conviction.

Also, she then concludes in paragraph 28 of the 12-page document, Exhibit 117, that Mr. Parsons is free to seek further relief and compensation for business lost, aggravated and punitive damages and libel and slander.  The 2007 felony conviction is to be expunged from Mr. Parsons’ record.  The appellees are to pay court costs to the Universal Supreme Court in the amount of $10,000.  The 2014 indictment will be dealt with separately.

So, Judge, I would offer Defendant’s Exhibit 117 in support of the offer of proof.

The Court:  Very well.  Thank you.  Any objection?

Mr. Sharp: Objection on 401 and 403 grounds.  This issue was addressed in the government’s trial brief that was filed before we started.  What constitutes a conviction is determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held, and that’s out of the statute 18, U.S.C., 921(a)(20).  The U.S. Supreme Court has held determining whether someone’s civil rights have been restored by expungement or set aside, et cetera, is governed by the law of the convicting jurisdiction.

In other words, even if the Universal Supreme Court of the Tsilhqot’in Nation exists, it’s not up to them to decide whether or not that conviction is overturned.  For all of those reasons, the government objects on relevance grounds.

Michael Parsons Complains about the YouTube channel Frater I*I , and about paid government officials (Document 196, page 58-61).

Frater I*I has a YouTube channel which has downloaded a number of videos on Michael Parsons’ court cases.  Rudy Davis of Lonestar1776 routinely vilifies Frater during his recorded jailhouse conversations with Mike Parsons.  Apparently, there has been an ongoing email exchange between Frater and Rudy Davis, and Davis reports back to Parsons. However, I am acquainted with Frater and he has studied the sovereign citizen movement for many years, and has obtained many court documents that provide insight into these cases.  In fact, it was Frater that generously allowed me to view documents 193, 195, 196 and 197 in this criminal case, which he had paid for out of his own pocket.

Mr. Schense:  Thank you.  Judge, I don’t know if this goes to my offer of proof or not, but I’m going to offer to the Court — Mr. Parsons has asked me to.  Mr. Parsons has heard through the grapevine or through — from somebody that all of these proceedings that are going on in court are being uploaded on the internet, and there’s some website called trader —

The Defendant:  Frader 67II.

Mr. Schense:  There’s a website with Frader, something, F-r-a-d-e-r or something.  I don’t know.

The Court:  Well, let’s stop for a minute.  This is not an appropriate offer of proof.  I will tell you this is not being recorded in any form or fashion.  If somebody is uploading anything on the internet, it has nothing to do with the United States Courts or anybody in this courtroom.

There’s —

The Defendant:  They said the trial is being uploaded, the audio of this hearing.  Yesterday’s is on the internet as of 30 minutes after I left and got back to the jail.  I called, and they said it’s playing right now on the internet for people to hear yesterday’s hearings.  So I don’t know if the clerk’s putting it out on the internet or if someone else is getting it from the clerk, but it’s out there, and there’re people that are blogging about this case and the proceedings as —

The Court:  Well, number one, this is a public courtroom, so if somebody is recording it or if it is out there, this is a public proceeding.  Anybody can walk into this courtroom, friends of yours, the government, or anybody else.  This is not a sealed proceeding.  So if anything is out there, there is nothing illegal or improper about that, but I can tell you nobody is recording this proceeding other than this court reporter right here.  She’s taking down every word that we are emitting in this court, but there — so I’m not sure what the objection is, if there is one.

The Defendant:  I would move the Court to make a verification, because it’s prejudicial for this matter to be out there in case someone — since the jury has not been sequestered, someone could be relaying information to the jury.
There’s actually — what I’ve been told, this Mr. Frader has made a threat to Mr. Schense regarding petitioning or submitting a complaint to the bar against him, and I find that threatening to him, and I’m concerned that there might be some undue influence upon this proceedings.

The Court:  Okay.  Well, unless somebody brings something to me as a matter of evidence, I’m not making any ruling.  There’s no objection that is pending.  The jury has been instructed clearly each and every day not to have communication with and not to consult the internet or any other source other than the evidence adduced in court.

So Mr. Schense, are we ready to proceed with the —

(An off-the-record discussion was had between the defendant and counsel.)

The Court:   Just do it briefly.

Mr. Schense:  Mr. Parsons would like to know if anybody — if there’s being any payments made to federal employees for cooperating and/or testifying in this matter, and as a result of this trial, are — any federal employees who are assisting and/or testifying in this matter, are they going to be awarded time off?  In support of that he cites 5, U.S.C., 4503, 4504, 5, U.S.C., 7342(a) —

The Court:  Okay.  Counsel, I’ll stop you there.  That is a matter of evidence.  If there are any cooperating witnesses that were to receive time off or any payments, that is to be adduced as a matter of evidence.  There has been no evidence.  In fact, there has been evidence adduced that there has been no promises and no payments, and the Court’s not going to make any findings on that.  That’s a matter of evidence.

The Defendant:  This is not pertaining to witnesses, Your Honor.  It’s pertaining to court officials, the judge, the prosecutor, and the attorney assigned to me.  This is what this pertains to.

The Court:  Well, I’m not going to — I can tell you the Court, the prosecutor, anybody involved in this case is — are public officials and are paid as public officials, not as a result of this case or any other case that’s in this courtroom.

Last Ditch Claims by Parsons:  An Imposter called as a Witness?

The Defendant: (Doc. 196, page 135-136)  And one other thing, Your Honor.  I
have not rested.  I didn’t know that Mr. Schense had said we rested, because I was going to call Mr. Bill Bittings [sic], because this gentleman over here is not Mark Anderson.  That’s not his name.  I believe he’s committed perjury before the court.

The Court:  Well, this case has been submitted, all right, and we will stand — this case has been submitted by the government and by the defense.  There will be no further argument, and there will be no further evidence.  I shouldn’t say there won’t be further argument.  There will be closing arguments at the time that I instruct the jury.

Parsons claims that he was assaulted by a U. S. Marshall during break.

The Court:  All right, very well.  We will go through the instructions one by one.  I will let counsel know and Mr. Parsons know that the Court will be instructing the jury based on the law and the evidence that’s been presented, and that will be the law as set forth by the Eighth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court and not the law as maybe we wish it were, so that’s what the instructions will be based on.

Counsel, Mr. Parsons has a question for you.

The Defendant:  I would like to notify the judge of the assault on me by the U.S. Marshal sitting over there and ask for a copy of the video surveillance for preservation of the record for potential prosecution for the U.S. Attorney.  I was assaulted by the —

The Court:  Hold on a minute.

Mr. Schense:  Judge, well, I guess the Court could hear Mr. Parsons.  Could the Court hear Mr. Parsons’ comments?

The Court:  I heard him claiming something that he was assaulted by a marshal.

Mr. Schense:  I wasn’t even in the courtroom so I don’t know, but Mr. Parsons has indicated that to the Court and made a request for a video and so —  (Doc 196, pg 137)

Court Rules Parsons Not an Ambassador.

The Court: (Doc 196, pg. 147)  Okay, all right.  Well, for the record — I mean, there is an objection that’s pending on the record.  I will overrule the objection.  I have found that he’s not an ambassador and does not have diplomatic immunity.  I’m referring to Filing No. 146 and my various other statements during the course of the trial.  I have determined that this Court has proper jurisdiction.  That was raised in the testimony so I think the jury needs to be instructed on that.

And, finally, I have ruled in Filing No. 146 and in other rulings that there is no international court or universal supreme court with authority to vacate the judgment of the — of a court of the state of Tennessee or to exonerate the defendant in any way, and so that instruction will be given.

If there is a pending objection, it is overruled.  All right.  Instruction number 14.

Mr. Sharp:  No objection.

Mr. Schense:  No objection.

Extracts from the Closing Argument of the Plaintiff

Mr. Sharp: (Doc 196, pg. 150) Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.  I haven’t had a chance to directly address you yet.  Again, as you heard me introduced at the beginning, my name is Jan Sharp. I’m an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Nebraska.  This has been a short trial.  Probably a little unusual, some of you may think.

But what you’ve heard over the course of the last two and a half to three days is that an individual who happens to think that he is above the law took off with charges pending against him in another jurisdiction and traveled cross-country with a sleeping bag, blankets, survival gear, and, most importantly, an LAR-15 .556 or .223 — they’re the same thing — .556 rifle and literally hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

We’ve played telephone calls for you where you have heard his own words where he is freaking out about the fact that that plane is up here in Nebraska, and he’s wanting somebody to come get it, and he’s talking cryptically about something that is on that plane.

And, lastly, you’ve heard that we are able to trace that gun from the manufacturer to a man who bought it in Alabama to Michael Parsons.  And, in fact, when Michael Parsons took the stand today, he admitted that he had possessed that gun at some point in the past.

So let’s turn to what the issues are that you’re going to be charged with deciding.  There’s three instructions that you’ve — or three elements that you’ve just been instructed on, and we’re going to talk most of — most of the time we’re going to be talking about one particular element, but I want to at least brush over all three elements….[discusses exhibits and element one of the law]

Mr. Sharp:(Doc. 196, pgs. 155-157) Which brings us to element number two, which is really what we’re going to be talking about and have been talking about over the course of the last two and a half days, and that is the United States has to prove that the defendant knowingly possessed a firearm.  And by the way, one of the instructions the judge just gave you is that a firearm doesn’t have to be operable for it to be considered a firearm under the law.

If it was designed to expel a projectile through the use of an explosion — I forget the magic words, but Special Agent Shelton told you that’s a firearm, and Matthew Lovan told you he had actually fired that gun, so it is a firearm.

But we have to prove not just that there was a firearm that was present in the plane, we have to prove that the defendant knew it was there, because if it was there — if you look at the definitions of “possession,” it doesn’t have to be physically on his person to be in his possession.  Constructive possession is enough.  If he knew it was there, he was clearly in possession of the firearm.

So what evidence do we have that Mr. Parsons knew that that gun was on that plane? Well, I would submit at the outset you’ve got the obvious problem that it is on the plane. It’s a very small space. We’re not talking about a derringer, something that’s 2 or 3 inches long that somebody tossed into a corner. This is a gun that is 3 to 3 and a half feet long. It’s in a black bag. It’s got all kinds of accessories. It’s got an upper for an interchangeable barrel. There’s an ammo box with hundreds of rounds of ammunition in it, and all of Mr. Parsons’ belongings are packed into that space with that gun. He flew the plane to Nebraska, and only he flew the plane to Nebraska.

That’s our starting point. It’s inconceivable that he would not know that that gun was in there, but we have more than that. You have heard three telephone calls that the defendant was on — two with Suzanne Holland, one with his wife — where the defendant is greatly concerned about the fact that his plane is in Arapahoe, Nebraska. I’d encourage you to listen to Exhibits 35, 36 and 37 and ask yourself whether he’s talking about some Walmart blankets. On Exhibit 35, his call with his wife, this is, like, I think a day, maybe two, after he’s been arrested. Before the plane has been searched, he knows all they have is just the personal belongings that were in the administrative office, and he is freaking out.  Three times in that call he says that plane has to be moved.  I think the last time he really puts emphasis on it immediately.

If you listen to Exhibits 36, 37, calls with Suzanne Holland, he starts off by saying we’re being recorded, don’t say anything, and then says don’t mention the Nation’s item or don’t mention the Nation’s gifts.

We put up Exhibit 26 during this trial. Exhibit 26 was the picture of all of the items that had been taken off that plane, and the plane was stripped down to the metal. We went through every item on there. There was not one earthly thing found in that plane that anyone would have to be afraid to mention on a telephone call or would be illegal to possess except an LAR-15 and several hundred rounds of ammunition if you’re a convicted felon.

It gets better than that in terms of proving the defendant’s knowledge of the possession of that weapon. The gun is traceable. We can trace it to a gun dealer in Alabama, to a man from at the time Alabama who bought it, who then took it to Tennessee and sold it to Michael Wayne Parsons. Matthew Lovan is not some drug dealer that’s trying to work off a sentence.   He’s just a guy. He met him once, maybe twice, and I sold — yeah, I sold the gun to Michael Parsons. And

Mr. Parsons takes the witness stand today and says, yeah, I had that gun, but I don’t have it anymore. I traded it to some guy that’s now dead. And the elephant in the room is how does this gun get from Mississippi to Nebraska in the defendant’s plane?

The Jury finds Michael Parsons guilty!

The Court: All right. You may be seated. Looks like juror number 2 has the envelopes. I will ask you, sir, has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?

Foreperson:   Yes, we have.

The Court: All right. Please hand the envelope to my courtroom deputy. I’ll examine it as to form. Thank you. Briefly hand it to counsel and examine for form. Then I’ll read the verdict. As to form, thank you.

The Court will now read the verdict. This is in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, United States of America versus Michael Wayne Parsons.  On the charge of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a felon, we, the jury, find that the defendant, Michael Wayne Parsons, is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition under instruction number 8. The foreperson signed and dated the verdict form on this 30th day of August, 2018.

A Sentencing Comment by the Prosecution

Mr. Sharp:  (Doc. 197, pg. 45) That said, I think even looking at the facts of the case, there are some factors here that are really troubling. His underlying conviction, if the Court looks at the PSR, involved the use of a firearm. He was awaiting trial on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and then he was caught here in the State of Nebraska with an LAR-15 on his way to Canada after having failed to appear.

If he truly believed that he was an ambassador, he would have proudly claimed that gun as his own, saying it’s okay for me to possess it. The arguments that he is making are not made in good faith. That said, I think all of the conduct that has been presented by Mr. Parsons, both leading up to the offense and during these proceedings, is captured by the guidelines.

It’s a substantial sentence the guidelines call for.

For a felon in possession, especially for a non-armed criminal career case, 97 months is — on the low end is about as long a sentence as I’ve seen on a felon in possession of a firearm case around here. I think the conduct is captured by that guideline range.

I am recommending a guideline sentence. The probation office has recommended a 97-month sentence.   I actually think that’s a fair recommendation, and I join in it. He is obviously enamored with guns. I frankly suspect that anytime Mr. Parsons is not in jail, he is going to have a gun. He is defiant of the courts’ authority, not just this court, but all courts. We’ve seen that from the first time he appeared in court here all the way up to today.

He has testified that he doesn’t believe he was — is a convicted felon or that he possessed — and he did not knowingly possess a firearm. I would submit to the Court that he doesn’t really believe that, because if you look at the trial record in this case, it establishes that the defendant, when he was in jail, was trying to get that plane removed. He was talking cryptically about the Nation’s item, gifts for the Nation. He continues to maintain that he didn’t knowingly possess a firearm.

The Judge Pronounces the Sentence

The Court: (Doc 197, pg. 79) I have considered all of the statutory Section 3553 factors for sentencing.

First, I have considered the nature of this particular offense.  You were scheduled to appear in Tipton County, Tennessee, on January 10, 2017, for the purpose of a jury trial for felony possession of a weapon.  Instead you were — you removed your ankle monitor, and you were pretty clearly headed north somewhere, whether it was from — to Montana or someplace else.

Unfortunately for you, you were intercepted in Furnas County, Nebraska, resulting in the present offense.  And despite your protestations, a jury of your peers found that you had in your possession an AR-15 assault-style rifle and enough ammunition to arm that automatic weapon as well as six other automatic weapons.

The Defendant:  Objection.

The Court:  No.  This is my time to speak.  This is the sentencing.
In addition, I have considered your personal circumstances and your background.  There’s no question that you are an educated man and a man that believes in your own principles.  I think that’s come through throughout all of the proceedings, but that education and your law-abiding ways went south somewhere along the path.  As a result you’ve been convicted of more than one felony, and the public needs protection from your behavior for a significant period of time.

As a result I will be pronouncing a seven-year prison sentence in this particular case, and that’s taken into account all of the Section 3553(a) factors.  And I want to be clear.  I would be pronouncing this sentence regardless of any guideline calculations.  In other words, whether an obstruction of justice enhancement applies makes no difference to me.  Whether you are a total offense level 28, category III or total offense level 26, category III makes no difference.

And more to the point, I would be pronouncing this 84-month sentence based on consideration of all the factors, and that includes the sentencing that occurred in Tennessee in September of 2017, and that’s based on my careful consideration of all of the sentencing factors regardless of the niceties of the guideline sentencing calculations.

So now to the sentence.  To reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law and to provide just punishment for this particular offense, recognizing that the guidelines are advisory in nature, and considering all of the statutory goals for sentencing, I hereby sentence the defendant, Michael Wayne Parsons, to a term of 84 months in prison, and this sentence shall be served separately and consecutively to the three-year prison sentence imposed by Tipton County, Tennessee, Circuit Court in Case No. 9058.
I will recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that Mr. Parsons be incarcerated in a federal facility as close to Tipton County, Tennessee, as possible.  That’s a recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons.  They will classify you and place you as appropriate.  I will make that recommendation.

Mr. Parsons, you’ll be placed on three years of supervised release when you’re released from prison, and I do intend to follow the special conditions of supervised release set out in the sentencing recommendation for the reasons that we have stated earlier.

Either counsel have any objection to any of the other special conditions other than those we talked about?

Mr.  Sharp:  I do not, Your Honor.

Mr. Schense:  No, Your Honor.

The Court:  All right.  The special conditions of supervised release set out in the sentencing recommendation are therefore imposed, and the standard conditions in the Court’s judgment will also apply.

I’m not going to impose a fine because the defendant cannot pay one.  He’s not expected to be able to pay one in the foreseeable future. A $100 special assessment will be imposed.

And the defendant should receive credit for time served.  He’s been detained on the federal case since February — or since September 12 of 2017.  I will make a recommendation that he receive credit for time served since that date at least, and the Bureau of Prisons will make the calculation as far as how much credit he will actually receive.

And if he’s not already done so, the defendant shall cooperate with the collection of a DNA sample at the direction of the Bureau of Prisons.

Now, in crafting this order I have considered all the factors in determining that this sentence should be sufficient but not greater than necessary to comply with the purposes of Section 3553(a).

That is my judgment and sentence.

Counsel, either one, do you have any questions or would like any further elaboration of my statement of reasons?

Mr. Sharp:  No, Your Honor.

Mr. Schense:  No, Your Honor.

The Court:  Very well.  Mr. Parsons, you do have a right to appeal this matter to a higher court, to the Eighth Circuit, and you have 14 days in which to file an appeal. (Doc 197, pg. 82)

Michael Wayne Parsons has filed an appeal, but the Appeals Judge has not ruled as yet on that case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.