The Assistant U.S. Attorney tasked with prosecuting a Mineral Springs, Ark., man accused of threatening seven Arkansas mayors is challenging a judge’s decision to release him pending trial.
Maverick Dean Bryan, 55, allegedly wrote letters to the mayors of Ashdown, Hope, Lewisville, De Queen, Nashville, Prescott and Murfreesboro in January 2015 in which he threatened to hang them from the “great oaks” on the courthouse lawn if they didn’t put prayer and the Ten Commandments back in public schools and do away with the state’s Common Core curriculum.
At a detention hearing in March, Bryan freely admitted he penned the letters but claimed he, “meant no harm to no man.” Bryan also admitted to twice publishing an ad in the Thrifty Nickel seeking a $23 million loan to, “equip and train immediately Christian militia to restructure a country.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven released Bryan last month on a $10,000 unsecured bond at the end of the detention hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Harris recently filed a motion seeking a review of that decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas.
Harris argues that Bryan has shown a pattern of thumbing his nose at the law as evidenced by repeated convictions for felon in possession of a firearm. Bryan was convicted in 1987 of interstate transport of a stolen vehicle and was found in possession of guns while that indictment was pending. Bryan was convicted in 1998 of felon in possession of a gun and again in 2014. He is currently serving a term of probation in Howard County for that crime.
Harris points as well to Bryan’s promise in a meeting Feb. 21 with a confidential government informant who responded to the Thrifty Nickel ad. A recording of the meeting allegedly includes Bryan espousing a desire to hang every living U.S. President and other statements which might indicate he is prone to violent behavior when confronted by law enforcement.
Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson argued at the detention hearing that Bryan’s words might mean something different to him than to others and urged Hickey to stick with Craven’s decision in a response to the government’s motion to revoke Bryan’s bond and jail him while his case proceeds. Hickey hasn’t yet ruled on Harris’ motion.
Bryan faces a fine up to $250,000, up to five years in federal prison, or both on each of the seven counts of mailing threatening communications listed in his indictment. He is scheduled for a jury trial next month before Hickey.
View the full text of the letters sent to Hempstead County Mayors below.
There is a declaration in place to clean up and correct everything wrong in this United States of America. You and six other honorable good men of this county have been fortunate to be chosen for it all to begin right here this county (hempsted) will be a fine example for all others to follow. Don’t worry I am going to help you through it. First of all you and these other six honorable good men will call a county wide meeting, mandatory for all men ages between 17 and 100, where you will discuss the terms of surrender of this county unto me. Let’s call me 2°d Lt. Gary Owen of the first Christian Militia of the United States of America. Now upon your prompt (and I suggest it be prompt) surrender you seven honorable men will discuss these things that will be put in place, first off only the Christian has a vote in any matter pertaining to the matter of the county, and its citizens. You will promptly ask all Socialist/Communist, Atheist, homosexuals, and Muslims, and those that worship any god besides Jesus Christ, to exit for these will have no vote or say in the governing of this One nation under God. Now the first order of the day, that you seven acknowledge your surrender (by the end of 1st month of 2015) you will throw this Common Core Corriculam out of each of the schools operating in the county of Hempsted and replace it with the corriculam of the 1930’s until a proper Education secutary can be put in place in the state capital, which will be as soon as all other counties in this fine state of Arkansas follows your counties fine example, which will be accomplished by the years end of 2015, I have great faith in you seven honorable gentlemen. Now the second order of this great day will be the reastabblishment of prayer in each class (and again in each school operating in hempsted county) K-12 at the beginning bell each morning to be as this – In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Our Father, who art in heaven, Hollowed be thy Name … I believe you fine men, know the rest of the lord’s prayer, which will be followed with the pledge of Allegiance of cource. All so the Ten Commandments will be returned to the halls and offices, and each class room K-12 in each school operating in the county of hemstead, every office, hall, of every city, county, and state offices operating in the county of hemstead. This means especially each office, hall, and courtroom of the county court house and city court, which both will open with the same prayer and pleadge that is required for our schools, and the bible of the original King James Version will be returned into the courts, so help you god, and moreover the marble cross and bible will be returned to the hall of the county court house to be set in the middle of the floor to be seen as entering. The dementions of the frames of the Ten Commandments will be no size smaller than one and a half feet by two and a half feet, no compromise, and too the third part of this decree, which the lord is going to bless our works and save many lives right here in our own counties. I pray we can come to a quick understanding that we can help many surrounding counties. Now the co-opment of all unused lands in the county to be used for growing of foods, livestock and feeds on a massive scale even if it got to be done by hand. Plus the inplacement of three, five mile long waterlines 110″ for emergency use. Do not be fooled into this reverse osmosis nonsence of putting so called reclaimation from your treatment plant back into our water supply. All so proper storage of Electronics, batteries and emergency vehicals and other means of transportation for county wide use. Disregard the words, or your surrender and I will except no excuses, remember there will be no forgiveness, I will prompley hang you seven honorable men from the great oaks on the court house lawn, I suggest Immediate surrender that we waist not another precious year.”
To view a copy of the search warrant affidavit unsealed this week in Bryan’s case click here