Ohio ‘sovereign citizen’ strikes plea deal after girlfriend agrees to testify against him
The Ohio man who identified himself as a “sovereign citizen” in defending his attempt to steal 11 homes struck a plea deal on Monday not long after his girlfriend indicated she planned to testify against him.
WLWT-TV reported that Robert Carr reluctantly pled guilty to one count of breaking and entering as part of the agreement. He faces up to a year in prison in an upcoming sentencing hearing.
Carr was indicted by a grand jury in December 2013 after “rejecting” an arrest warrant on breaking and entering charges.
He had reportedly found the empty homes in the Cincinnati area, then attempted to file “quiet titles” over them, including seven claims in one day. The “quiet title” legal maneuver is often used by “sovereign citizens,” who claim that governments function illegally and that any abandoned property is open for the taking.
WLWT reported that Carr’s attorney initially told the court that he was willing to face trial, but reconsidered after prosecutors said they had secured testimony from Carr’s girlfriend, 25-year-old Bethany Firth. Firth had also been indicted for a separate count of breaking and entering.
“[Carr’s] plan was to file all of this paperwork, claiming ownership and then rent out these houses to renters and try and make money off of the property that way,” assistant prosecutor James Ginocchio was quoted as saying. “He broke in and he was going to make improvements, I guess, and then rent them out.”
Prosecutors dropped five charges against Carr in the ensuing plea agreement, reducing his potential prison term from 7.5 years in prison to one.
Watch WLWT’s report, aired on Monday, below.