Man disavows bogus defense before prison sentence |

Man disavows bogus defense before prison sentence

A Mesa County man who attempted to assert the bogus “sovereign citizen” defense to cover for squatting in a Mountain Valley home in 2019 disavowed the doctrine Tuesday and was sentenced to prison.

“(The sovereign citizen defense) is just stuff on the internet,” said Isaac Brehm said. “There’s no factual basis to it. I’ve seen the error of my thinking.”

Brehm, 28, pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in connection to his occupation of the home on Mountain Laurel Drive and theft between $2,000 and $5,000 for stealing a welder in Garfield County — both felonies — before District Judge Chris Seldin sentenced him to six years in prison.

The sovereign citizen defense is a false interpretation of the Constitution that leads adherents to trouble, Seldin said. Brehm attempted to assert squatter’s rights to the home — which had been vacant for about 10 years — and had posted an “adverse possession affidavit” at the home’s entrance when Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies arrested him.

Brehm entered the plea from state prison, where he’s serving a two-year sentence for theft and a drug charge.

After Brehm was arrested in March 2019, officials found tools, a motorcycle and other stolen property at the Mountain Valley home, though charges relating to the theft were dropped as a result of Tuesday’s plea deal.

Brehm was sentenced to 15 months in prison for stealing the welder in Garfield County, though that sentence will be served concurrently to the six-year burglary sentence.

In other court news Tuesday:

• A homeless man arrested in June for allegedly strangling and assaulting a woman who let him sleep on her couch pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor assault.

Aradeus Daffin, 33, was sentenced to 18 months of probation and must undergo substance abuse and mental health evaluations as a result of Tuesday’s plea. The alleged victim in the case wrote to the District Attorney’s Office asking that Daffin be released, said prosecutor Don Nottingham.


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