Nemmers, defiant to the end, gets four months
WILLMAR -- A Glenwood man who previously faced contempt charges for trying the court's patience was found guilty Tuesday on a felony count of aggravated forgery and sentenced to four months in jail.
Defiant to the end, Terry Dean Nemmers, 45, mocked the court at times, laughing at the judge's remarks and claiming his trial was a hoax.
Nemmers was charged with a felony count of aggravated forgery and a gross misdemeanor for evading taxes after he was found driving a vehicle with fake license plates Oct. 12. Throughout his pre-trial hearings, Ne-mmers tested Judge Donald M. Spilseth, earning four days in jail Nov. 30 for mocking the court and refusing to answer questions.
Nemmers toned down his comments during a Dec. 4 hearing, where his contempt charges were vacated. He was once again defiant Feb. 13 at his pre-trial hearing on the felony charge.
He challenged that Minnesota statutes require courts to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and claimed his arresting officers obstructed justice by not allowing him to go to court the day he was arrested.
Nemmers' apparent disregard for the justice system continued Tuesday when he appeared for a one-day jury trial.
After Kandiyohi County prosecuting attorney Shane Baker wrapped up his closing arguments, Nemmers attempted to arrest Judge Donald M. Spilseth for not having the court open at the time Nemmers was arrested.
Baker objected as Nemmers began reciting Spilseth's Miranda Rights.
"This is irrelevant," Spilseth said. "Do you have anything you would like to say ... about the charges brought against you today."
Nemmers did not respond, and the 12-member jury was asked to deliberate a verdict.
After less than 30 minutes, the jury returned verdicts of guilty on both the felony and gross misdemeanor charges.
As Spilseth dismissed the jury, he thanked them for their service saying, "you've certainly helped with the administration of justice."
Nemmers laughed after Spilseth's comment.
Prior to sentencing, Spilseth asked Nemmers if he wanted to make a statement, to which Nemmers fluidly recited a lengthy Bible verse. Spilseth then asked if Nemmers had anything else to say.
"Other than I thought this was a kangaroo court," Nemmers said.
Spilseth then sentenced Nemmers to 366 days in prison and fined him $1,000 for the felony charge. Spilseth stayed the jail time and ordered Nemmers to comply with probation for five years.
As a condition of the stayed sentence, Spilseth ordered Nemmers to spend 120 days in jail. Nemmers was given credit for two days in jail. Spilseth refused to give Nemmers credit for the four-day contempt charge.
Spilseth sentenced Nemmers to another 120 days in jail for the gross misdemeanor charge and fined him $50. Spilseth ordered that both jail sentences be served at the same time.
In addition to the sentence, Spilseth ordered Nemmers to pay $600 for the standby counsel provided to him after he refused to hire an attorney.
Before Nemmers was escorted to jail from the court room, Spilseth issued a stern warning. He told Nemmers he is required to obey the same rules the 5 million other Minnesotans obey. He continued, saying that Nemmers used an extremist view to put himself above the law.
"This is unacceptable," Spilseth said. "For that you will now go to jail."