Sovereign citizens make first appearance in court
Two men who refused to cooperate with sheriff deputies during a Wednesday afternoon standoff because they didn't recognize their authority made their first appearances in court Thursday.
Michael Hicks and David Galland refused to exit their truck after being pulled over by sheriff's deputies Wednesday. Eventually they were cut from their seat belts, pulled out of their truck and arrested.
Deputies brought in extra resources, including the SWAT team, because the men were identified as sovereign citizens, who are known in the law enforcement community for not respecting authority.
In court Thursday Hicks, 55, said he didn't understand his rights or the charges against him. He even declined to confirm his name. Hicks eventually expressed he doesn't abide to the court's jurisdiction over him.
"I don't consent and I don't plead to the court of contracts," Hicks said.
Hicks and his passenger, David Galland, were pulled over because the truck didn't have a valid license plate. The truck was also deemed suspicious on July 24, when a corrections officer saw the truck following him with two men in it.
He identified it as a sovereign citizen's truck from the stickers and called police but the men were never arrested until Wednesday.
"They had absolutely no respect, no desire to comply with any of our commands, and that was just to exit the vehicle. They turned that into a long drawn out situation, that ate up a lot of our resources," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.
The two men are facing charges of obstructing and refusing to cooperate. Hicks also faces a third degree driving without a license charge.
David Galland was compliant and released on his own recognizance.
Michael Hicks, who was not compliant, will be held on $10,000 bond and will be sent to Eastern State Hospital to be evaluated to determine if he's mentally fit to answer questions in court.
Hicks also refused a public defender, saying no one understands the "common law" he follows; the judge appointed him one anyway.
Hicks' wife and son said after the court hearing that they agree with him. As for David Galland, who complied in court, they said he did not follow Hicks' advice of not complying.
Galland, who the family identified as a sovereign citizen as well, receives $700 a month in state assistance.
Thursday night Michael Hicks shared his side of the story from jail.
"They have trampled my rights," said Michael Hicks at the Spokane County Jail
"I am not a sovereign. I am sovereign and I have sovereign rights, unalienable rights that I was born with here in America," he said
Hicks said he did not comply with officer's commands because he was afraid.
"I wasn't about to get out of the safe zone of my vehicle that has no trespassing all over it , personal private property that is where I felt safe," he said.
"They were very threatening and I was very peaceful through the whole thing," he said.
Hicks said even though he doesn't recognize government he doesn't hate it or those who work for it.
Even in jail, Hicks said he continues to stand by his strong convictions.
"Absolutely, absolutely yes. I think more people should experience the freedom of liberties that they have that our forefathers died and fought for," he said.
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