The date was January 11, 2016, and I was to be tried for "Disorderly Conduct". My crime? I had stood up as a minister in my own church and spoken openly in favor of homeschooling. Of course, we all know that wasn't the real reason for my arrest. The real reason was my Bible-based political activism which had called on local police to obey the laws they enforce. No matter how you slice it, I was going on trial for being a Christian.
Before the trial could even start, things got really ugly with Cameron Parker.
On the day of my statements in church, Parker had shown up (without being called) to investigate, and (as we have documented before), he convinced my pastor that I was a "sovereign citizen" - a police officer's terrorist boogey-man - and had pushed the pastor to give an exaggerated (and illegal) negative account about me. Despite the fact that the pastor hadn't ever asked that I be arrested, Parker went to the magistrate and sought a warrant for my arrest anyway. The warrant he got was totally bogus, because it claimed I had committed the crime of "Disrupting a Public Gathering," a crime which didn't even exist.
Thereafter, Parker dragged me out of my home and falsely accused me of "Obstruction," ostensibly because I asked, "Why are you arresting me?"
After a narrative like that, you would probably think that Cameron Parker couldn't sink lower, but sink lower he did.
My lawyer and I were sitting at the defense table waiting for the judge to arrive, when we heard a commotion behind us in the back of the courtroom. We turned to look, and there was Cameron Parker, leading in a gaggle of deputies, who lined up along the back wall of courtroom. Parker stood and puffed out his chest, folding his arms over it and wearing a proud grin on his face, while (I kid you not), his buddies literally started to point at me and laugh.
This display, which I suppose must have been choreographed ahead of time, made the playground taunts of small children look like the height of maturity.
"What the Hell is this?" muttered my lawyer, "Some kind of circus?"
"I suppose then that this isn't normal?"
"No." he scoffed, "It isn't."
And the show went on. The officers were soon joined by some people whom I recognized as employees of the courthouse, all of them, literally, standing in the back of the room and pointing and laughing. It looked like something you might expect to see in the old "I showed up at high school naked" dream, except that instead of feeling embarrassed for yourself you feel embarrassed for everyone laughing.
In retrospect, I honestly feel really bad for all those people that Cameron Parker marched into the courtroom that day. They'd all been told that they were coming to laugh at an anti-government sovereign-citizen terrorist. They'd been duped into thinking that they were getting some kind of victory over their enemy. Something tells me though that if they'd known that they were helping the county to repress and persecute law-abiding Christians that they might not have wanted to go along with it.
Parker, on the other hand, deserves no sympathy. He had intentionally and maliciously attacked me - both with actual physical violence and with his slander in the courtroom - and he was proud of it.
Of course, this display, sad as it was, might not have been such a big deal except for the fact that Cameron Parker was to be the first witness against me. Now you might be asking yourself, "How could Cameron Parker be a witness against you if he wasn't present at the time of the supposed crime and literally was not a witness to what happened?"
One would expect that the people acting as witnesses in a trial would need to have actually witnessed something. Parker hadn't witnessed anything though. I had never once seen him before he dragged me out of my house, and I never saw him again until we showed up to trial. I've never seen him since. The only information that Cameron Parker could give in the case was a second-hand account of what "pastor" Jason Berry told him, and since Jason Berry was present to testify on his own behalf, one would expect that Cameron Parker could add nothing to the case except for distortions of the facts.
And that, of course, is why he was there. We've mentioned before that Jason Berry gave a relatively tame account, but of course, his account was heard after Cameron Parker had filled the jury's head with a bunch of "dangerous sovereign-citizen" nonsense.
Did I mention that sovereign citizens were something of a hot topic at that moment? A group of them had staged an armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife refuge in Oregon only nine days prior, and that incident wouldn't come to a close for an entire month thereafter.
I should note that I'm not now and never have been a sovereign citizen, and haven't ever been part of or expressed support for a sovereign citizen group. Of course, we all know that the facts don't matter. Hall County had a trial to cook, and if that meant putting non-witnesses in the witness stand to taint the jury before they could ever hear any actual evidence, that's how it was going to be.
So, I pointed out a few weeks back that Georgians can't really have confidence that they'll get a fair trial. Well, in my case, you can be certain I didn't get one. Cameron Parker had a motivation to have me wrongly convicted so that he could get himself out of a lawsuit, and despite the fact that he had no first-hand knowledge of events, he was allowed to give the jury their first impression. The fact that he was allowed on the stand at all demonstrates that the trial was intentionally slanted, and an intentional slant in the trial which resulted in an obviously false conviction was exactly why the Supreme Court of Georgia ultimately stepped in to overturn the verdict.
So, you might be thinking that the Hall County Sheriff's office would be pretty embarrassed by a guy like Cameron Parker, right? Well, in a legitimate law-enforcement agency, he probably would be an embarrassment. Of course, we all can see plainly that the Hall County Sheriff's Office is anything but legitimate, because the unfortunate fact is that Cameron Parker was actually given a promotion only one month after falsely arresting me. That close proximity in time is too much to call a coincidence, and I think we can all rest assured that Gerald Couch handed this guy a promotion as a reward for jailing his old political opponent.
But don't worry. It's probably just a few bad apples, right?