The lawyer for a blogger charged with encouraging violence against state lawmakers has told a judge that his client's comments were similar to when baseball fans say, "kill the umpire."
Public defender John Stawicki told a Hartford Superior Court judge on Tuesday that charges against Harold "Hal" Turner should be dismissed because he was exercising free speech rights and didn't intend to cause harm.
The North Bergen, New Jersey, resident was arrested in 2009 after he urged blog readers to “take up arms” against state lawmakers and suggested that government officials “obey the constitution or die,” in response to legislation on Catholic Church finances that later failed.
Judge Carl Schuman didn't immediately rule on Tuesday.
Turner is already serving a nearly three-year prison sentence for making death threats against federal judges in Illinois.