Blogger takes Conn. lawmaker threats case to trial

AP News
Posted: Apr 07, 2011 6:54 PM
Blogger takes Conn. lawmaker threats case to trial

The lawyer for a blogger charged with encouraging violence against Connecticut lawmakers says his client is taking his case to trial and won't accept a plea deal.

Public defender John Stawicki says client Harold "Hal" Turner maintains his innocence and believes his speech was protected by the First Amendment.

Turner was arrested in Connecticut in 2009 after authorities say he urged his readers to "take up arms" against state lawmakers over a bill that would have given Roman Catholic church lay members more control over parish finances. His case was placed on the Hartford Superior Court trial list after a brief hearing Thursday.

The 49-year-old Turner is from North Bergen, N.J. He already is serving a nearly three-year federal prison sentence for making death threats against federal judges in Illinois.