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August 29, 2014

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Judge says man accused of plot to kidnap cop can represent himself

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Leila Navidi

David Brutsche appears in Las Vegas Justice Court at the Regional Justice Center on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013.

Sovereign Citizens in Court

Sovereign citizen David Brutsche appears in Las Vegas Justice Court at the Regional Justice Center on Friday, August 23, 2013. Launch slideshow »

A member of the anti-government Sovereign Citizens movement will be allowed to defend himself in court against allegations that he plotted to kidnap, try and execute a Metro Police officer for treason.

Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish ruled today that David Allen Brutsche, who has said he doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the justice system, would be allowed to act as his own attorney.

Another judge had previously denied Brutsche’s request.

The case stems from a five-month Metro investigation into the Sovereign Citizens Movement in Las Vegas.

Brutsche, 42, and his roommate Devon Campbell Newman, 67, who has an attorney, were arrested Aug. 20 and each face one count of felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Undercover Metro officer Scott Majewski testified at a preliminary hearing in September that the pair plotted to abduct a random Metro officer so they could try and execute the officer for treason in their own court of law.

Brutsche earlier butted heads with Las Vegas Township Judge Conrad Hafen after Brutsche indicated he didn’t want a court-appointed attorney.

Hafen said he didn’t think Brutsche grasped the seriousness of the case and didn’t have the legal background to represent himself.

Cadish’s ruling today means Brutsche will be in charge of calling and cross-examining witnesses and reviewing the evidence against him, which includes hundreds of hours of surveillance footage.

The court, however, is not required to provide Brutsche with the tools to go over that footage.

Trial is set for Dec. 9.

The defendants remain in the Clark County Detention Center. Brutsche’s bail is set at $600,000 and Newman’s at $200,000, according to court records.

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