Thursday, September 28, 2023

Last Second Warrant Against Gabe Metcalf in Federal Lockup!

A surprise development has come to light in the Gun Free School Zone Case involving Gabriel Metcalf in Billings, Montana. As Gabriel was processing to be released from jail on his personal recognizance under the Federal charges, he was informed he could not leave.  His attorney Russell Hart, is reported as saying no, we have an order from the judge for him to be released. Hart was then told the charges are not federal on this warrant; they are local charges.

The warrant had not been served, but the jail would not release Gabriel because of the existence of the warrant. No one could say exactly what the warrant alleged, because no one in the jail system or Gabriel or his Federal defender had seen the warrant as of early Thursday evening.

This morning, Friday, 22 September, the Yellowstone Detention Facility inmate search engine showed Gabriel as still in custody. Instead of the single federal charge, with 0.00 bond, it now showed two charges, the federal charge and a local Misdemeanor Assault charge with a $2,500.00 bond. It is peculiar the Billings Police could find this warrant just as Gabriel was about to be released. Before Gabriel was arrested on the single federal charge of possessing a firearm in a federally defined Gun Free School Zone, Billings police were on record, more than once, claiming Gabriel had not broken any laws so they could not arrest him. A Billings Police Lt. is on record as saying they could look to the federal government as possibly finding a way to arrest Gabriel. From the Billings Gazette, as of August 22, 2023 :

 “We have made contact with him on multiple occasions, and currently he is refusing to stop displaying his firearms while on his property,” said police Lt. Matt Lennick. “At this time, he has not done anything illegal and we do not have the authority to arrest him, take his firearms, or force him to stop coming out into his yard.”

There is no state statute that restricts guns within a school zone, especially on private property adjacent to a school, the lieutenant said.

“We have reached out to the FBI and ATF to see if there is federal statutes they can assist with,” he said.

More information will, undoubtedly surface over time. Speculation is not productive until more is known.  Gabriel has been blessed with a very competent federal public defender in Russell Hart. It is not clear what sort of representation he might obtain in the Montana system. Two years ago, a Yellowstone County judge held the director of Montana's Office of the Public Defender in contempt of court. From apnews, September 14, 2021:

District Court Judge Donald Harris issued an order in August for OPD Director Rhonda Lindquist to appear before him after he learned 663 cases in Yellowstone County District Court had not been signed to a public defender as of July 31.

“This problem, in this particular district, has persisted for months,” Harris said during Monday’s hearing, “and it appears to the court that the problem is only getting worse.”

Gabriel's mother, Vivian, has to work Friday, this weekend, and Monday, so this issue is unlikely to be resolved before Tuesday. Russell Hart is prevented from working on the local issue because he is a Federal Defender. It appears Gabriel will spend at least another four days in jail, after being told he was to be released on Thursday.

Gabriel and his mother are poor as church mice. Vivian has to work to keep the utilities on in their home. She is 71 years old and has a day job and an alterations business in Billings.

Gabriel’s mother has set up a GiveSendGo site to help defend their home, the Second Amendment, and work to free Gabriel from this unjust detention.


©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

ScienceABC123 said...

The process is the punishment, and someone doesn't want the punishment to end!