Man vs. State

Today I represented myself in court. What. A. Circus.

It was a “Who’s Who” of Keene Activism:

Pete Eyre of
Ademo Freeman of
Ian Freeman of and
Jason Talley of Talley.TV and
James Schlessinger of FreeKeeneTV
Ali Havens of FreeKeeneTV
Kelly Voluntaryist of
Beau Davis of
Cecelia Fairchild of
Nemi Jones of
Kate Ager of,
Nicholas Shankin of, Amish Paul,
Wyatt, David Crawford, Serena & Josh

Video soon to follow this post, but for the meantime, enjoy this recap:

After a shower in the morning, I started off the day by doing some “Don’t Take the Plea Deal” outreach at 8am.

The Shire Choir performed at about 9:50AM, 10 minutes before my trial. We sang a song written by Richard Onley, “Free Derrick J,” and then went upstairs. There we went through a security-theater routine where the bailiffs keep us safe from the pens in our pockets. Once through, I met with the other activists already inside the courtroom, took a seat in the front row, and awaited my name to be called.

When called, I arose, and took the defense table as my stage. I got comfortable, sorting out my papers and disks around the desk and removing my suit jacket, revealing my homemade advertisement adorning the back of my vest: atop a peace sign.

We began. The State motioned to sequester the witnesses and named theirs, then I named mine. Jim Cemorelis, a Keene Police Department law enforcement officer who also works as a city prosecutor included him on my witness list when I filed it weeks ago, but I didn’t subpena him. I never expected he would be available to be sequestered. He looked shocked. He was twiddling around on his cell phone surfing facebook, stood up and left with the other witnesses. (*Spoiler alert* I made him wait 5 hours in a cloud of mystery before calling him to the stand.)

About half of my activist support team now outside the courtroom, the State called its first witness to the stand, Mr. Steven Corrigan, Keene Police Department Badge #138. I asked him about his knowledge of the law which he was enforcing. Unsatisfactory answers.

Next came Michael Kopcha. Then it was determined that video would be shown to the court and all of the sequestered witnesses at the same time. After about an hour of viewing myself get pepper sprayed from 3 different angles, the State finished its line of questioning for Kopcha and gave me the stage. I cross-examined Kopcha with questions which made him squirm: You seem confused now–were you confused then? Would you like to apologize for your actions that day? Do you think you used excessive force? About how long does the pain of pepper spray last in comparison to that of being pushed? I motioned to dismiss based on witness being incompetent to testify. I motioned to dismiss based on lack of an identified complainant. I motioned to dismiss based on lack of corpus delecti. The State objected to much of my line of questioning and all of my motions.

Next I got to call my witnesses: First came Jason Repsher, who recollected that Corrigan and Kopcha announced two different motives for their presence, couldn’t cite the laws which they were purporting to enforce, escalated the situation from peaceful to violent, and then attempted to hide from their actions by coordinating an effort to conceal the view from the audience with blinking flashlights focused on camera lenses.

Jason Talley was called and testified to the same effect.

Then followed James Schlessinger, who testified similarly. Following this, Judge Burke told me that if I have any more witnesses who speak with the same testimony, it would be a waste of the court’s time to bring them forward. Instead he recommended that I name the witnesses who will support the testimony previously brought forward, and he would note them on the record.

I called Ian Freeman to the stand. He testified a bit on some different topics. I had already been told that my character was irrelevant to the trial, so I asked him about his ownership of the equipment. He revealed that the property belonged to him and was under my care during the time of the Live Free or Dance celebration.

Finally, I called Jim Cemorelis to the stand. My goal was to highlight the nature of the state’s preferential treatment toward coworkers. After entertaining some questions about the nature of Jim’s profession, Burke interrupted and made my point for me. He shamelessly explained it was self-evident that the court and the prosecution work together and support each other.

I concluded with a closing statement summarizing my arguments. There is no identified complainant. I never physically resisted. There is no victim in this case besides myself.

I rested.

Burke found me guilty of all three charges. The state recommended a sentence of 90 days for the obstructing charge, 90 days for the resisting charge, and a fine of $1240 for refusing to process–all suspended for 2 years on the condition of “good behavior.” If the fine were “paid” by sitting in a jail cell, that would bring the total cage time to 6 months. Up to 2/3rds of a sentence can be reduced in what is known as “good time,” which brings the most idealistic situation to 60 days in jail.

I have appealed Burke’s decision to a jury trial to be held in superior court in Keene. I will be notified of the date my mail.

One of the greatest things about today was that 100% of the witnesses I addressed gave me permission to use their first names, and I avoided all use of the term “your honor.”

I want to thank Adam and Jason from for recording high quality audio and video of the full 5-hour trial. I’d like to thank all those who came out to support me and those who kept me in your thoughts. I wouldn’t have the same confidence or motivation to refuse a plea deal if not for the supportive community here in the Shire.

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  1. "Burke interrupted and made my point for me. He shamelessly explained it was self-evident that the court and the prosecution work together and support each other."

    When will these criminals be arrested, caged, charged, convicted and sentenced to life for treason to the Constitution and The People?

  2. Thank you Derrick for a multitude of reasons, which are so broad, that I'll keep it to a simple thank you, while sparing everyone else the cheese. I look forward to watching the first part of the trial with Kopcha (prior to my testimony). What I was able to watch was impressive and I really liked your closing argument, not that I have any firsthand experience, just saying.

    I'm convinced nothing would have changed the outcome. The courts like to give this illusion that you somehow have a chance of winning, but this thing was decided the day Burke the cops and the prosecutors became co-workers. The fact that Burke can justify your verbal resistance as resisting arrest, when it's clearly stated that it's not, is so blatantly fixed. To have ruled otherwise, would have been saying that Kopcha used excessive force and why would he do that to the Good ol' boys network? Burke overlooked the fact that the music was shut down and they still proceeded to seize the property, which makes the seizure of property unreasonable. They may argue that the complaint call makes it reasonable, but they have the burden of proof on that, which they weren't able to provide. Anyways for what it's worth, just by going through this process and doing what you're doing puts everyone here one step closer to a non violent society, a society where people will only be accountable for acts they commit with an actual victim. Not this make believe, self revenue generator known as the state, which can exist in your reality when others believe in the irrational fairytale on your behalf.

  3. I wanted to read this, but I just couldn't get through it. You do not "motion," you "move."

  4. I liked when Derrick said "the Constitution isn't relevant?!" 🙂

    He did a fab job!

  5. Congratulations Derrick J, it sounds like you had a successful shower.

  6. Jason: not getting past the semantics (move vs motion) puts you in the same class as the hat-doffing crowd. This sort of social convention is enforced by those with the power to do so for their convenience. They (you) learned something in a particular fashion and you are challenged to follow along despite another person's non-standard usage. This is process over content and always reveals a naked emperor. You may wish to have a country like France where the word "email" is banned in favor of the French equivalent of "correspondence" but it's just prejudice.

  7. 2 months is 2 months!! Lock him up!

  8. Juliaaaaaa where areeeeeee youuuuuuuuuuu…

    (at least Julia's dissenting view is intelligent)

    imho 🙂

  9. david – didn't you read in her last reply that she was in the process of making a big move to Baltimore. Oops….I meant big motion to Baltimore. Not to be confused with your bowel motionments.

  10. evidence to buttress my assertion… (above)

  11. I have seen video of this Derrick J involving other matters. I feel sorry for him. He is confused about what his life is about and he is desperate for an identity. It is very very sad. To the casual observer, he has no sense of being capable at anything, and at all times must be surrounded by the company of those who's goals are similar. In military jargon, he does not like to be on the point. Working independently is not something which brings him much comfort and it seems that at this point in his life, he can only survive in an echo chamber. He does not seem to realize that all this must end one day, and that he has to move on with his life. He has many productive years ahead of him, but he senses a lack of direction. He seems intelligent enough, it is very sad. I do not enjoy watching young people who have their whole life in front of them, years of purpose and productivity ( whatever that may be, no lectures here ) trying to cling to a fleeting movement merely because it provides them with temporary friends.

    Most likely he and others will not be here 5 years from now and they will feel as if they have wasted a part of their valuable lives. So sad.

  12. I agree with confused.

    Can you imagine how many real problems could be solved if alot of these young folks directed the energy they have on the phantom of "police state" and directed torward real ills in our society?

    Hunger, homelessness, crime, poverty. Instead they are railing for that which he have in abundance…Freedom!

  13. confused is confused and enslaved agrees with

  14. I believe your information on "good time" is incorrect. "Good Time" is 1/3, 2/3 must be served. Also, I don't believe "good time" is given when serving time "in lieu of fines". You should check this to be sure.

  15. Im an anarchist/communist (im sure you knew this already) but Russia was NOT communist. It was capitalist. The state acted like one giant corporation, so it was capitalist. Alot of people dont seem to realize this

  16. David can feel it!! It's electric!! Welly welly welly!

  17. @ Smash

    Please give one good example of real communism, since Russia wasnt communist…

  18. No photo of Schnectady PD badge, and that comment reads to ME more like somebody spoofing my good friend "SMASH CAPITALISM"…&what's with the stray : in his name? Is that really YOU, SMASH CAP?…


    Anyway, that is one of the better & more insightful analyses of Derrick ( or anybody…)

    that I have seen here…I, too, agree…

    Why don't you fucking piece of shit assholes work to get Burke *REMOVED*FROM*THE*BENCH*

    for *GROSS**INCOMPETENCE**???…..

    But no, just gotta do your little Dance of Narcissus…

    Derrick, you got a couple of quick little spritzes of OC spray…

    How do I *KNOW* you *WERE*NOT* pepper-sprayed?…

    Well, did you *REQUIRE* medical attention? No? I rest my case…

    Kid, you have no fucking idea how lucky you are…

    Back when Thomas Powers was Police Chief, I was sometimes given

    SANCTION to deal with certain individuals in a non-judicial manner…

    I'm retired now, and things have changed anyways,

    But, if you want to know what it is like to REALLY*BE *MACE-FACED*, I'll be glad to educate you……….don't bother, kid…

    GTFO, assholeDerrick, GTFO…

  19. Derrick reminds me of a kid who just shit his pants, and now he's running around trying to sell his new "magic mud" invention…

  20. "I motioned to dismiss based on witness being incompetent to testify. I motioned to dismiss based on lack of an identified complainant. I motioned to dismiss based on lack of corpus delecti. The State objected to much of my line of questioning and all of my motions."

    If you are going to play in their system, you should educate yourself on the rules if you intend to have any success. Competent to testify only means that they have personal knowledge of what they testify to. The governmental unit (State of NH, City of Keene etc.) always has autority to proceed as the complainant. You misunderstand corpus delecti. That is why you lost on those motions.

    I understand you do not agree with the statism of this system, which is fine for you, just don't be surprised that when non-sensical legal arguments don't work.

    (P.S. are you just parroting some Marc Steven's nonsense that has never worked in any court?)

  21. You deserve a huge well done. The judge said that you did not like the outcome but, he thought you did well. What a creep! If he thought so much of you why didn't he let you go? I am sure you'll be less nervous on the next round and I hope that the thought of countless souls backing you up will provide you with a steel backbone and a clear mind. I am very long distance but is there anything you need?


  1. State v. Live Free Or Dance - Free Keene - [...] video is 3.5 hours, so if you’d like to skip around, it may be helpful to use this previous…

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