Amanda Billyrock takes a plea

By William R. Toler

The trial of Amanda Billyrock didn’t exactly go as planned Monday morning.ab

Instead of making the state prove her guilt in court, she decided it was in her best interest to take a deal and plead guilty to the charge of “disobeying” a law enforcement officer. The charges of having an open container and resisting arrest were dropped.

Billyrock, whose given name is Amanda Johnson, was originally charged with five “crimes” following a December traffic stop, which we were the first to report. In January, two of those charges were dropped.

When originally reached for comment Monday, Billyrock said she would explain everything in an upcoming video. Wednesday, she released a statement on her Facebook page explaining why she took the plea:

Why I plead guilty to “disobeying”:

I don’t have time to make a video right now, so a post will have to do.

Monday morning, I was ready for a trial. We walked into the Laconia court house, and my attorney Seth Hipple asked to speak to me. He informed me that prosecutor Jim Sawyer had contacted him that morning and said he believed I had given false information on the bail paperwork I filled out in jail and that he intended to charge me with perjury.

What would this have meant? Regardless of the outcome of Monday’s trial, it would have meant ANOTHER trial and – because my attorney was at the jail when I was doing paperwork – I would have to hire ANOTHER lawyer. Jim Sawyer was willing to stop the additional assault if I would pay $100 and admit to committing the horrendous crime of not obeying orders shouted by a jackboot in the street.

So I had a choice – more hours of my life to the state and fistfuls of money to another lawyer, or leaving a situation that had just taken a very bad turn.

Seth did not attempt to influence me either way. He has been excellent like that from the beginning. He presented the options, and after careful consideration, I made the choice.

My deepest thanks again to those who showed me emotional and financial support. You are aces in my book, and I am proud and humbled to know you.

It’s over now.

There were some that were disappointed by Billyrock’s decision since “Never Take a Plea” is almost a mantra among libertarians, especially those involved with the Free State Project. Adam Kokesh faced similar criticism when he took a deal last November. But as John Bush said during a PorcFest panel last year, “It’s all up to an individual risk assessment.”

She made her assessment. And thanks to that assessment, she will still be able to attend Liberty Liberty Fest in North Carloina next weekend where she is scheduled to give a talk on cryptoanarchy.

Besides, a charge of “disobeying” a government official for an anarchist can be worn like a badge of honor.

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