A sovereign citizen, convicted of armed robbery and carjacking in a crime spree that “terrorized” New Jersey communities, was sentenced Thursday to 65 years in prison.
George Gaymon, who claimed the court had no authority over him because he was a sovereign citizen, was convicted by a jury in January on a 20-count indictment that included two carjackings and an armed robbery.
Essex County Superior Court Judge Martin G. Cronin said he handed down the consecutive sentences because he “wanted to deter others” from Gaymon’s unorthodox sovereign citizen legal tactics, the news site nj.com reported.
It is the latest in a string of cases nationwide involving antigovernment sovereign citizens who commit assorted crimes, then clog the criminal justice system with bogus legal moves, pretending their sovereignty immunizes them from prosecution under the state and federal laws.
That’s exactly the route Gaymon attempted when he fired his court-appointed public defender nine months before his trial and began filing his own sovereign citizen legal papers.
In court, the 30-year-old defendant’s antics and outbursts before potential jurors got him ejected from the courtroom during the trial. The judge said the defendant’s inappropriate comments in front of potential jurors “basically tainted the entire jury panel.”
The prosecutors who handled the case, William Neafsey and Joseph Perez, said Gaymon and his-conspirator, Mario McClain, “terrorized Essex County” in a series of carjackings and a robbery four years ago.
McClain struck a plea deal with prosecutors and is expected to get a lighter sentence in exchange. Gaymon must serve 51 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.
The pair stole two vehicles and robbed a gas station before hijacking a third vehicle at gunpoint on March 24, 2014. Three days later, the two used one of their hijacked cars to carry out a fourth carjacking, stealing that driver’s wallet.
They then used the stolen credit cars to make purchases at multiple locations where video surveillance cameras led to their identification and arrest. The crimes occurred in in Orange, Newark and Irvington, New Jersey.