Tax protester in 2007 standoff requests time served sentence

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man up for resentencing this month over a monthslong armed standoff with U.S. marshals in 2007 to protest a tax evasion conviction says he should be sentenced to the 13 years he has already served.

Edward Brown, 78, was sentenced to 37 years in prison after the standoff at his fortress-like home in Plainfield, New Hampshire. His wife, Elaine Brown, received a 35-year sentence, but a judge decided in January she could be released after serving over 12 years. She is seeking a divorce. Edward Brown is scheduled to be resentenced Sept. 29 in federal court.

In a sentencing memo filed with the court on Friday, Edward Brown said resentencing him would be unconstitutional, violating the Fifth Amendment due process clause and double jeopardy prohibition against multiple punishments for an offense.

If the court determines that resentencing does not violate his constitutional rights, he requests that he be sentenced to time served, based on his minimal history of criminal behavior, declining health, age and risk factors for complications from COVID-19 and the fact that Elaine Brown and two other defendants were sentenced to time served.

“His thirteen years of incarceration, which he has served from age 65 to age 78, absolutely reflects the seriousness of the offense, promotes respect for the law, and provides just punishment,” his attorney Benjamin Falkner wrote.

Prosecutors have recommended that Edward Brown stay in prison.

In 2019, Brown was diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack, often called a mini-stroke, and has a history high blood pressure but has refused treatment for that condition, Falkner wrote.

The Browns holed up in their home after they stopped showing up in court for their trial on tax evasion charges. Anti-tax crusaders and out-of-state militia groups rallied to their cause before U.S. marshals posing as supporters gained entry to their home and arrested them. The marshals discovered weapons, explosives and booby traps.

One charge against the Browns — carrying and possessing a destructive device in connection with a crime of violence — carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years. It was vacated following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that found the “crime of violence” term vague.

Brown has said he has no current need for weapons, his lawyer wrote in the sentencing memo.