The The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is deliberating whether or not a Montana woman was properly convicted of Interfering with a Forest Officer after tellingHelena National Forest Service workers to stay off her land in January 2018.
Joan Havens lives near the Helena National Forest. According to court documents filed in court Havens had filed several complaints over the years for trespassing, cutting down
trees, and burning slash piles at her boundary line.
On January 19, 2018 Havens allegedly threatened Forest Service workers working near her property by saying “I catch anybody on my land burning any piles, I have a goddamn AR-15 and I know how to use it.”
The workers were 1/2 mile away from her property at that time.
Havens has argued she didn’t have a weapon with her, and that there was no reasonable interpretation she would actually follow through with her threats, and that the law actually protects citizens who defend against commission of a felony. Havens’ attorney said in argument that the Forest Service burning on Havens’ property might constitute a felony.
You can watch last week’s testimony here: