Weinhaus Found Guilty — Jury Recommends Total of 63 Years - The Missourian: Crime

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Weinhaus Found Guilty — Jury Recommends Total of 63 Years

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:45 pm | Updated: 2:29 pm, Fri Oct 11, 2013.

A Franklin County jury recommended 30 years each on two of the more serious charges of which controversial Internet blogger Jeffrey Weinhaus was found guilty Thursday.

Weinhaus, 47, received guilty verdicts on one count of assault on a law enforcement officer and one count of armed criminal action.

The jury gave its verdicts after evidence was presented that Weinhaus had attempted to draw a gun on Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper Henry J. Folsom on Sept. 11, 2012, during a confrontation at an MFA gas station on Highway K in St. Clair.

Folsom and another trooper, Cpl. Scott Mertens, shot Weinhaus during the incident, hitting him twice in the chest and twice in the head, critically injuring him.

Weinhaus also was charged with armed criminal action and assault on a law enforcement officer in reference to Mertens, but the jury found him not guilty on both those counts.

The jury also found Weinhaus guilty and recommended two years in the state penitentiary for possession of a controlled substance, and one year in the county jail for possession of marijuana. 

Charges of tampering with a judicial official and resisting arrest were dropped yesterday evening by Judge Keith Sutherland.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 25 at 9 a.m.

Testimony

Before making its sentencing recommendations, the jury heard arguments and testimony from both the state and the defense.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Parks called Folsom to the stand one last time to testify how the shooting had devastated his life, family and career.

"I bear no ill feelings for Mr. Weinhaus, his family and his friends," Folsom said. "But I, myself, have been changed forever. My wife is four months pregnant and stressed really bad. My family life is devastated because of this."

Folsom told the jury he has been harassed by Weinhaus supporters since the incident, has not worked, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

At one point in Folsom's testimony, Weinhaus muttered, "this is crap."

"Maybe it is crap, Jeff," Folsom said. "But you did this."

Parks said he had asked Mertens to take the stand, but Mertens declined because he was too emotional after testifying earlier in the trial.

Judy Kropf, who was married to Weinhaus nearly five years but divorced him in in May, told the jury Weinhaus was never physically violent with her, but had been verbally abusive toward her at times. 

Nevertheless, Kropf said Weinhaus was, in her opinion, a "good and decent" person and she still cared about him and supported him.

"What happened was not in character for Jeff Weinhaus," she said.

Parks told the jury that he felt Weinhaus had "no remorse" for what he had done and was a danger to society.

"He has no respect for the law and for no one but himself," Parks said. "He would have shot those two officers down, all because he has no respect for the law. He does not deserve to be in our society. He needs to be locked up."

Hugh Eastwood, Weinhaus' attorney, said Weinhaus has been blogging and writing about government officials for years and although his speech is at times controversial and extreme, Weinhaus never hurt anyone.

"The violence was out of character," he said. 

Eastwood claimed Weinhaus is not the same man he was before the shooting.

"The man you see here is not the man who went to the gas station," he said to the jury. "He doesn't impose a current threat. I ask for leniency because extreme punishment does not send a message or achieve anything or heal anything."

Weinhaus, who looked frail and a lot thinner than he did just one year ago, remained calm during most of the three-day trial, but became agitated after the verdict and during sentencing.

He picked up his Bible and was escorted out of the courtroom.

"Hope you sleep well tonight, Bob," he told Parks. "God bless you. I'll be praying for you."

 

/local_news/crime