CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man awaiting resentencing over a monthslong armed standoff with U.S. marshals in 2007 to protest a tax evasion conviction says he has no use for guns, distrusts the court system, and sees himself as a pawn to set an example for others, according to a psychologist’s interviews.
Edward Brown, 78, was sentenced to 37 years in prison after the standoff at his fortress-like home in Plainfield, New Hampshire. His wife, Elaine Brown, received a 35-year sentence, but a judge decided in January she could be released after serving over 12 years. She is seeking a divorce. Edward Brown is scheduled to be resentenced Sept. 29 in federal court.
The Browns holed up in their home after they stopped showing up in court for their trial on tax evasion charges. Anti-tax crusaders and out-of-state militia groups rallied to their cause before U.S. marshals posing as supporters gained entry to their home and arrested them. The marshals discovered weapons, explosives and booby traps.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not a bad guy,” Brown told the psychologist regarding the tax evasion case, according to her report. “The law says that I did (something wrong,) but the law is wrong.”
An evaluation by Dr. Jill Durand of Salem, Massachusetts, based on telehealth interviews with Brown was entered into the case file Tuesday. She wrote that Brown’s lawyer requested “an assessment of psychological factors that may affect Mr. Brown’s ability to be successfully released from federal prison and re-enter the community.”
One charge against the Browns — carrying and possessing a destructive device in connection with a crime of violence — carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years. It was vacated following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that found the “crime of violence” term vague.
Prosecutors have recommended that Edward Brown remain in prison. Earlier this year, Brown argued that he completed his sentences on all the other convictions. He said resentencing him would violate the Fifth Amendment’s double jeopardy prohibition against multiple punishments for an offense. He asked to be released or have a detention hearing, but a judge denied that.
When asked about his plans if he were to be released, Brown said he plans on working with others to reform education in the U.S. and to take a holistic approach to educating young people, Durand wrote.
“He described a firm belief in the negative impact of the Federal Government on the lives of Americans and his desire to affect change. He described it as an ‘obligation,'” Durand wrote.
Durand added that from a psychological perspective, “there is little concern that if released, Mr. Brown would pose a threat to others in the general community. He asserts that he has no current need or use for weapons.” She recommended, though, that access to firearms be restricted.