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2011-10-05 / Front Page

Jury finds Austin talk show host guilty of posing as investigator

BY GLORIA JENNINGS

A Cherokee County jury returned a guilty verdict against an Austin talk show host Sept. 27 in Court-at-Law Judge Craig Fletcher’s court.

Randall D. Kelton of Boyd was sentenced Sept. 28 by Judge Fletcher to one year in the Cherokee County jail and fined $4,000 for posing as an investigator without a license. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

If the case is appealed, Mr. Kelton will be required to surrender his passport.

Between proceedings, Mr. Kelton paced up and down the courthouse hallway wearing a microphone as he conducted his live talk show on the trial dates.

Mr. Kelton represented himself and County Attorney Craig Caldwell was prosecutor.

The case was brought against Mr. Kelton after he attempted to appear before a grand jury April 29, 2009, on behalf of Robert Fox of the House of Israel in Jacksonville. Mr. Kelton subsequently left his business card with the district attorney’s office.

The business card stated he was an investigator, but did not include a license number.

“It was Mr. Kelton’s contention at that time, that Mr. Caldwell, Judge Fletcher, Jacksonville City Judge Pete Menefee, Jacksonville Chief of Police Reese Daniels, Jacksonville Policeman Jason Price and Rusk

Police Chief Joe Evans, who was previously the district attorney’s investigator, had all violated Mr. Fox’s rights,” Chief Evans said.

During the trial Sept. 27 three witnesses were questioned in Judge Fletcher’s court. They were Chief Evans, Texas Department of Public Safety Investigator Steven Stone and Ken McClure of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office, who was previously a bailiff for Judge Fletcher’s court.

Chief Evans said, “We began investigating Mr. Kelton after he admitted more than three times that he was a member of the Sovereign Citizen movement, which is classified as an ‘extremist, anti-government group’ by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“We don’t think that he is actually dangerous, but that he can influence someone to be a danger to society, especially through his talk show.”

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia def ines the Sovereign Citizen movement as a loose network of American litigants and commentators.

“Self-described ‘Sovereign Citizens’ take the position that they are answerable only to common law and not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, state or municipal levels, or that they do not recognize U.S. currency and they are ‘free of any legal constraints.’

“ They especially reject most forms of taxation as illegitimate. Participants in the movement argue this concept in opposition to ‘federal citizens’ who, they believe, have unknowingly forfeited their rights while accepting some aspect of federal law.”

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