The Columbia Falls man convicted of wrapping a chain around the Ten Commandments monument in Kalispell, pulling it down and leaving it in the middle of the road in front of the county courthouse last summer was given a deferred three-year sentence by District Court Judge Amy Eddy on Thursday.
Eddy convicted Anthony Weimer, 30, of felony criminal mischief during a bench trial in November, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Weimer represented himself at his sentencing hearing, during which his motion asking for a new trial was also denied. In previous motions and in open court on Thursday, Weimer accused his former court-appointed attorney, Greg Rapkoch, and Judge Eddy of misconduct. Eddy directed Weimer to appeal her various decisions to the Montana Supreme Court.
As part of his sentence, Weimer must also pay restitution of almost $7,000 to reimburse insurance policies held by the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) that paid to repair damage to the Ten Commandments monument. The granite slab, one of several located in front of the old Flathead County courthouse at 800 S. Main Street, was badly damaged during the June 27 incident.
Weimer and his former attorney had argued in court that the monument represented a public nuisance, and that Weimer had legal standing to remove it, in part because the monument’s placement on public land violated the Constitution. Judge Eddy did not rule on the legality of the monument, writing that such a determination was irrelevant in this instance because there was no emergency precipitating Weimer’s action. The monument has previously been the source of some controversy, along with the six others located alongside it as part of a “cornerstone of law” display.
Weimer must register with the Probation and Parole office in Kalispell and remain law abiding for the next three years. If he is not, Eddy could impose a new sentence.
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