Key Militia Figure Charged with Assault

Mark Koernke, the Michigan maintenance man who remade himself as a leading spokesman of the militia movement, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in November after allegedly attacking a court process server.

Koernke, who has long denied advocating or engaging in violence, was arrested for allegedly using an assault rifle to first bloody and then chase away the deliverer of a subpoena. The man, Roger Gainer, was delivering court documents ordering Koernke to testify in the murder trial of John Stephenson (Stephenson later pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the case).

Officials say Stephenson and Paul Darland murdered William Gleason as part of a rift in the militia movement. The two, who belong to a militia faction opposed to Koernke, allegedly thought Gleason was informing on them to Koernke.

Koernke is well known as the maker of conspiratorial videotapes he claims have reached 1 million people.