A Montana man who repeatedly cited “natural law” as his defense and became famous for his continual outbursts during court proceedings was ultimately found guilty Friday on two charges stemming from fishing without a license.
Ernie Tertelgte, 52, represented himself in court against misdemeanor charges of obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest relating to an Aug. 31 incident where he was cited for fishing without a license, according to KBZK. He argued that “universal law” allows him to hunt for food to feed himself.
However, the bearded man, adorned with a three corner hat, was forced by the judge to watch his trial from another room after he objected multiple times to the court proceedings.
— Scroll down for video. The second clip is the viral YouTube video —
At the outset of the trial, Tertelgte objected to being referred to by his legal name, instead demanding the court recognize him as “the living man.”
“I must object ma’am,” he said, after being asked to remain silent by the judge as proceedings just got underway.
Tertelgte then proceeded to continue talking and was asked again to remain silent.
“I cannot ma’am in honor of the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “I can’t allow a man who carries British recognition for the purposes of British ministerial law to continue to persecute me.”
[sharequote align=”center”]”I honor the memory of those who fought and died that we can be free of this type of thing.”[/sharequote]
“I cannot ma’am,” Tertelgte continued. “I have to honor the founders ma’am. I honor the memory of those who fought and died that we can be free of this type of thing.”
Tertelgte was then ordered out of the court room and two officers asked him to stand up.
“If I stand up I give you recognition,” he said. “No, pick me up. I cannot give you recognition.”
Tertelgte, who was then found guilty and fined $150, had become an Internet legend after footage of his initial appearance went viral on YouTube.
“You are trying to create a fictitious, fraudulent action,” he had told the judge then. “I am the living man, protected by natural law.”
He then yelled, “Do not tell me to shut up! I am the living, natural man, and my voice will be heard!”
Repeatedly citing natural law as his defense for fishing without a license, Tertelgte even appeared to refuse to enter a “plea.”
“I never plead, animals plead, sounds like baaaa, oink oink,” he said.
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