Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Militia Headquarters Fire information Page

Paul Davis has provided a link containing information about the arson fire suffered by the Militia of Washington County.

Go there.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Militia headquarters damaged by early fire

As flames rose from the roof of the Washington County militia headquarters on Friday, witnesses reported hearing rounds of ammunition sporadically being fired.

"The corner office of the building was pretty involved when firefighters arrived on scene," said Washington County Fire Marshal John Jenkins. "The building was substantially damaged, but I think they’ll be able to salvage it."

Jenkins said firefighters responded to the Militia of Washington County, 15566 E. Black Oak Road, at about 6 a.m. Friday after a passerby reported seeing flames. The witness further reported hearing sounds ammunition being fired from inside the building.

"The fire was in the corner office of the building," Jenkins said. "It caused extensive damage in and around the office." Jenkins said the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The blaze comes just two months before the sentencing date for Hollis Wayne Fincher, who founded the militia headquarters in 1994. Fincher served as the organization’s lieutenant commander until his arrest Nov. 9 when federal agents seized 15 illegal machine guns and sawed-off shotguns during a search of his Washington County home. All of the guns were examined and found to be in working order. Shortly after his arrest, Fincher’s supporters began an aggressive campaign to raise awareness of what they thought was an unjust arrest by posting "Free Wayne" signs and bumper stickers around Washington County. Fincher was convicted Jan. 12 of illegally possessing machine guns and possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and will be sentenced in the next two months.

In February, a federal judge denied a defense motion to toss out the illegal gun possession conviction against Fincher. The judge ruled that there was no basis for the defense’s motion for "arrest of judgment."

Jenkins didn’t say whether Friday’s fire was related to Fincher’s arrest, but said he was looking at a number of possibilities.

"I was on the radio this morning, and we received a call from one of our regular callers, and he told me and the listening audience that the building had burned," said Don Bright, a local resident known as a regular contributor to talk radio shows. "There’s speculation that it might be someone trying to make a point, but I don’t want to make too many projections."

Though Bright has never been a member of the Militia of Washington County, he supports their beliefs.

"I support what they stand for, which is constitutional government," he said. "I also helped raise money for Wayne’s lawyer."

The Washington County Militia is headquartered down the road from Fincher’s residence — about 5.5 miles south of Huntsville Road. According to its Web site, www.arkansasmilitia.com, the group is committed to "defending liberty and serving Washington County."

The organization holds a weekly muster every Friday at 7 p.m. that is open to the public.

From the Northwest Arkansas Times

Sentencing Set In Machine Gun Case

FAYETTEVILLE -- A sentencing date has been set for a Washington County militia leader convicted in federal court of having three illegal machine guns.

Hollis Wayne Fincher, 60, was convicted Jan. 12 of possessing illegal, unregistered weapons, including machine guns and a sawed-off shotgun.

Sentencing is set for 10 a.m. June 22 in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville before Judge Jimm Larry Hendren.

Fincher faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

In March, Fincher essentially fired his attorney, Oscar Stilley, and was appointed an attorney by the court, Shannon Lea Blatt.

Fincher had two .308-caliber machine guns, homemade versions of the Browning model 1919. The other firearms were 9 mm STEN design submachine guns and a shotgun.

Fincher never denied he had the guns.

The defense tried to make a case of the Constitution versus gun laws; the government kept the case more simple, arguing Fincher had the machine guns and they weren't registered as required by federal law.

After the trial, Hendren refused to throw the conviction out after Fincher challenged the court's jurisdiction and the Grand Jury indictment against him.

Hendren said his court has jurisdiction to hear any case arising from federal law within the Western District of Arkansas. Hendren said the indictment was legally sufficient because it contained all of the essential elements of the offense charged, in this case that Fincher knowingly possessed a machine gun.

Hendren said the government was not required to put on evidence of any connection with interstate commerce in the case.

Fincher didn't testify before the jury. The judge ruled after hearing testimony, with the jury out of the room, that Fincher's proposed testimony was inadmissible because it was aimed at challenging the legality of federal gun laws, not whether Fincher had illegal, unregistered firearms in his possession.

From The Morning News

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Militia Commander Fires Lawyer

FAYETTEVILLE -- A Black Oak man can fire his lawyer, but will have to take whatever defense attorney the court appoints, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Hollis Wayne Fincher, 60, was convicted in January of possessing illegal, unregistered weapons, including machine guns and a sawed-off shotgun. A sentencing date has not been set.

Fincher asked U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren to appoint David Dunagin of Fort Smith as his attorney. Fincher fired Oscar Stilley of Fort Smith, who defended Fincher during his trial, citing irreconcilable differences between the two.

More at: The Morning News
Thanks to David Codrea.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Docket Item #39 Added

The Fincher Docket has been updated with Item #39: Government's response to the Motion to Arrest Judgement.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fincher Docket Updated

Wayne Fincher's docket has been updated with the Motion to Arrest Judgement (Document 37) and the Memorandum Brief in Support Motion to Arrest Judgement (Document 38).

Thanks go to Paul Davis.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Free Wayne Webring

We have joined the Free Wayne webring. More details can be found here.