Thursday, March 12, 2009
Man Claims He Is His Own Country: Must Undergo Mental Evaluation
DUI defendant claims he's his own country
Published - Mar 11 2009 07:30PM EST
A man accused of driving drunk said Pennsylvania courts have no jurisdiction over him because he's his own country. After seeing the paperwork that 44-year-old Scott Allan Witmer filed with the court claiming sovereignty, a Northampton County judge said Tuesday he cannot be released from jail until he gets a mental exam.
Witmer, who represented himself, said he believes police lack jurisdiction to pull him over. As he said in court: "I live inside myself, not in Pennsylvania." He said there is no victim in the crime and asked to go to trial. He then dozed off in his seat, apparently believing he had made his case and charges would be dismissed or a trial date set.
Defense attorney James Connell, Witmer's standby counsel, said a challenge to the traffic stop would need to be filed as a pretrial motion. His client did not respond when asked if he understood. The judge postponed any trial setting until after the mental evaluation.