Jeffrey Weinhaus was smiling and singing when he entered a Franklin County courtroom Monday morning for his sentencing hearing.
By the end of the hearing, the anti-government blogger also known as Bulletinman was screaming and had to be restrained as he was led out by deputies.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” is how one veteran Franklin County sheriff’s deputy described what happened at the hearing in which Weinhaus verbally attacked the court, law enforcement officers and the prosecutor.
Judge Keith Sutherland sentenced Weinhaus to 30 years in prison for his role in an armed confrontation with police at a gas station outside of St. Clair Sept. 12, 2012. He was shot four times by Missouri Highway Patrol investigators when he reached for a handgun.
In October, a Franklin County jury convicted Weinhaus of one count each of assaulting a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action along with two drug charges. The jury recommended a sentence adding up to 63 years on all the charges.
Saying it is not his practice to override or undercut a jury’s recommendation, Sutherland affirmed the sentences of 30 years each for armed criminal action and assaulting a law enforcement officer, two years for felony drug possession and one year for misdemeanor drug possession. The judge ordered all the sentences to be served concurrently, or at the same time.
Two other charges against Weinhaus were dismissed by the court during the trial.
“I was very happy with the sentence,” said Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks who had recommended consecutive rather than concurrent sentences.
Parks said under Missouri sentencing standards Weinhaus must serve 85 percent of the 30-year sentence and would not be eligible for parole until after about 25 years.
“I am extremely happy that the judge followed the jury’s verdict and sentenced him to the time recommended by jurors,” Parks told The Missourian following the hearing.
Weinhaus, 47, protested his conviction throughout the lengthy hearing arguing repeatedly that it was “manifest injustice” and that he was the only victim in the case. At various times in the proceedings, he became combative and interrupted the judge.
Weinhaus asked Sutherland if he could be unshackled before he addressed the court and the judge allowed one of his arms to be unrestrained.
Reading from notes, Weinhaus launched into a rambling, 25-minute diatribe in which he cited the Missouri and the United States constitutions as well as the Bible, and he attacked his attorneys, the highway patrol, Parks and Judge Sutherland.
“You are a black-robed terrorist, enemy combatant,” Weinhaus said to Sutherland. “You are no different than Osama bin Laden.”
He also referred to the judge, law enforcement officers and Parks as “predators.”
Weinhaus called the proceedings a “kangaroo court” and the patrolmen who shot him “cold-blooded murderers.”
“Who did I hurt, who did I offend? The only victim in this courtroom is me,” Weinhaus said.
“If I go to jail, that’s what revolutions are made of,” he said at one point, adding that he is not responsible for any actions by “the militia.”
Weinahus said his arrest was ordered by Gov. Jay Nixon who he said he knew because they were from the same county. “Why would Jay Nixon want to be concerned about me? Why did he want to eliminate me?” he asked.
He also criticized the highway patrolman who shot him, claiming he was fired over the incident.
“This is the second time he tried to kill someone,” Weinhaus declared. “I guess it’s two strikes and you’re out,” he added.
Weinhaus became more agitated after Sutherland handed down the sentence. “You are a fraud,” he shouted back at Sutherland, “Shame on you.”
Before he was led out, Weinhaus took one more shot at Sutherland. “I’m not going to threaten you but you’ve come against a child of the most high God. Woe unto you . . . you are doomed,” he shouted.
Weinhaus had to be restrained while he was being led away. On his way out a woman in the courtroom shouted “we love you Jeff” while another man remarked “God help us all.”
Taken to Prison
Immediately following the hearing, deputies took Weinhaus to the county jail to pack a few belongings, then immediately transported him to the Missouri Department of Corrections processing facility at Fulton.
Because of Weinhaus’ association with anti-government groups, the sheriff’s office increased security in and around the judicial center, Sheriff Gary Toelke said. There also was a contingent of highway patrol troopers and officials at the hearing.
“They provided security escorts after the hearing for his (Weinhaus’) attorney and us,” Parks said.
Weinhaus had been held in the county jail since last November after he was released from the hospital.
The initial investigation stemmed from alleged threats made by Weinhaus against judicial and law enforcement officials in Crawford County where he unsuccessfully ran for coroner last year. Weinhaus said he ran for coroner to investigate two unsolved murders in that county.
That investigation culminated in the confrontation at the MFA Station on Highway K south of St. Clair where the officers fired when Weinhaus went for a gun.
Bill Miller Jr., Gregg Jones and Ed Pruneau contributed to this story.
Internet blogger Jeffrey Weinhaus was given two 30-year sentences, to run concurrently, in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Weinhaus was sentenced Monday morning by retired Warren County judge Keith Sutherland.
He was found guilty Oct. 10 of assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action by a Franklin County jury. He also was found guilty of possession of morphine and marijuana.
Weinhaus was allowed to speak during the hearing, and stated that he was a victim; and state troopers, Franklin County Prosecutor Robert Parks and Judge Sutherland are "predators."
"You are a black-robed terrorist, enemy combatant" Weinhaus said to Sutherland. "You are no different than Osama Bin Laden."
See the Wednesday Missourian for a complete story.