‘Sovereign Citizen’ Convicted in Philly Home Invasion Case
Kevin Green, a 57-year-old Philadelphia man who has been committing crimes in this city since 1975, was convicted Thursday in a home invasion case. Although Green only got seven to 15 years in the 1989 killing of software expert Donald Branch in West Oak Lane, he could face life in prison under the state’s three strikes law.
Green and 26-year-old Charda Martin Gilyard posed as prospective tenants for a rental property in Kensington. They terrorized a family of people before eventually fleeing with $7,713 in cash. But they didn’t last long: Gilyard was caught five blocks away; Green about 10.
The trial, though, was notable for Green’s complete non-defense. The Inquirer’s Joseph A. Slobodzian explains:
Green regularly interrupted lawyer and judge with objections based on Moorish American and “sovereign citizen” political theory. He insisted the court and law were unconstitutional and did not apply to him.
When Ciancaglini and Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich asked Green whether he wanted to testify, Green replied: “I object to you being my attorney and I object to these proceedings. … I do not consent to them.”
The sovereign citizen movement is generally confined to tax protesters and the like. The ploy didn’t work.