This Georgia judge had heard just about enough nonsense from a “sovereign citizen” charged in a scheme to steal a house.
Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David Irwin repeatedly advised Akeem Kwame – a self-described “Moorish national” charged with mortgage fraud for falsely claiming ownership of a house in Conyers, Ga. – to get a lawyer or accept a public defender.
And Kwame repeatedly rejected that advice. It was time for trial.
“It’s a simple question,” Irwin told Kwame on Monday, according to the Rockdale News. “Are you ready for trial, yes or no? It’s a yes or no. After that you may explain.”
Sovereign citizens are not given to straight answers. They believe they are not subject to government or law enforcement authority, and typically rely on convoluted, often incomprehensible pseudo-legal gobbledygook to assert their immunity. Moorish nationals are sovereigns who claim to be members of an indigenous black tribe independent of U.S. jurisdiction.
“Judge, I conditionally accept your offer to continue this once I am presented with the documentation so I can inspect any accusatory original instruments for my inspection,” replied Kwame, 48, also known as Gregory Ross of Covington, Ga.
Annoyed by Kwame’s non-answer, Irwin tossed the suspect – who had been free on bond pending trial – into a holding cell to ponder his options. A few hours later, the judge offered Kwame one last chance to request an attorney – and made clear he’d had it with the legal shenanigans.
“As far as the Moor Nations, or Martian law, we’re going to go on Georgia law,” Irwin said. “As based upon the Georgia statutes, as done by the Georgia Legislature, you have a right to a trial on those issues. That’s it. I’m not doing Moorish law. … I’m not doing paper law. I’m doing Georgia law. … I have given you opportunities, I have given you offers, and you have refused. … You’re not free to go. A jury will be picked for you today.”
Kwame seemed bewildered. “You’re placing the occupant of the executor office of the Akeem Kwame [trust] in custody? Is that what you’re saying?”
“I’m going to place Akeem Kwame and anybody else that doesn’t respond [in custody]. Your imaginary friend. You and the Grand Poobah of the Moor Nation if that happens to be you. ”
Asked if he understood his constitutional right to a lawyer, Kwame told Irwin, “I waive those constitutional rights because that Constitution is not in my jurisdiction. I am an American foreign national. I am not an American citizen.”
After a few more minutes of this, an exasperated Irwin finally ordered Kwame taken to jail and canceled the trial until the state could do a psychological evaluation.
“That is not my wish today, judge,” Kwame said as he was being escorted away. “Let the record reflect, I did not give the court jurisdiction to take me into custody against my free will ….”