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Posted May 9, 2012 | comments 1 Comment

Another conviction, another sentence in 'Embassy of Heaven' case

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

A man with a Kingdom of Heaven driver's license who continues to defend himself in jury trials was sentenced to several years in prison for the second time in about a month Tuesday in Warren County Circuit Court.

Randy Richard Linamen, 60, of Manassas, was convicted of felony operation of a motor vehicle after being declared a habitual offender and operating the vehicle while a court order prohibited him from doing so.

The case follows a conviction for felony possession of a handgun at an April 3 jury trial in which Linamen referred to Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Nicholas Manthos and other court personnel as "a bunch of book-burning Nazis." The jury sentenced Linamen to 4 ½ years in prison out of a possible five years.

On Tuesday, the jury sentenced Linamen to the maximum sentence of five years. The jury sentences are only recommendations. Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp will formally sentence Linamen during a hearing at which he could lower the jury sentences, but not increase them. As in the gun possession trial, Linamen represented himself in Tuesday's trial.

Linamen's convictions and sentences stem from the same incident in which a driver's license issued to him by the Embassy of Heaven, a church in Oregon, led to an armed encounter with Front Royal police.

At Linamen's first trial, four members of the Police Department testified that Linamen produced a laminated driver's license card from the Kingdom of Heaven after he had been stopped at a traffic checkpoint on July 31. Detective Jason Lethcoe testified he spotted two ammunition speed loaders in Linamen's 1986 Ford van, devices that allow several bullets at one time to be fed into the chambers of a revolver.

Lethcoe testified that the speed loaders led him to suspect the van also contained a gun.

Police testified that after being asked to step out of the vehicle, Linamen responded by trying to drive away. He went about three to five feet before officers drew their guns and stopped him.

A loaded .357 magnum was subsequently discovered in the van.

A later check revealed that Linamen had been convicted twice in Fairfax County of operating a vehicle as a habitual offender.

Jason Winner, one of the arresting officers, said in his arrest report that Linamen "appeared to be a sovereign citizen," a movement linked to anti-government extremism and sporadic violence against law enforcement agencies.

Linamen denied being a sovereign citizen at his first trial, despite giving several speeches denouncing the legal system.

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