September 25, 2023
City Of Billings vs David Lee Carpenter Plea Agreement 11-29-2022
City Of Billings vs David Lee Carpenter Plea Agreement 11-29-2022

Gabriel Metcalf is being held in federal custody without any prior convictions, violence, threats, or use of a weapon. He is incarcerated because he exercised his First and Second Amendment rights.

In the affidavit of a criminal complaint for the arrest of Gabriel Metcalf in Billings, Montana’s Gun-Free School Zone case, ATF Task Force officer and Billings Police officer Dustin Stroble wrote the following:

Per dispatch narrative, METCALF lives at 430 Broadwater and patrols his yard due to a protection order he believes is in place and is trying to protect his mother.

Dustin Stroble may be casting doubt about the existence of a restraining order/protection order in this case. The “he believes” language implies other people, such as the police, believe differently. As shown in a previous article, there is documentary evidence of an order of protection that was granted on August 31, 2022. The Order of Protection is valid until August 29, 2032. Gabriel Metcalf’s mother, Vivian, has confirmed there were numerous contacts with the Billings Police Department since that time, complaining about multiple violations of the restraining order/order of protection in the past year. Moreover, Vivian states David Lee Carpenter was arrested for violations of the restraining order on 31 July 2023 and released on bond within a day.

This correspondent has received documentary evidence of the conviction of David Lee Carpenter in November 2022 of five criminal misdemeanors involving two separate individuals, including an assault on Gabriel Metcalf.

The four other convictions include two for violations of the order of protection and two for  Privacy of Communications, Montana Code Annotated 45-8-213 (1) (a). The privacy of communications violations involved a victim identified as C.U. The privacy of communications code involves threats:

(a) with the purpose to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, or injure, communicates with a person by electronic communication and threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of the person or makes repeated use of obscene, lewd, or profane language or repeated lewd or lascivious suggestions; 

Complaints about David Lee Carpenter’s threats and active attacks started about a year before the issuance of the Order of Protection in August of 2022. He was arrested and convicted of five misdemeanors by November of 2022. He was ordered to wear a GPS-tracking ankle monitor. Afterward, another warrant for his arrest was issued, and he was arrested on that warrant on July 31, 2023, and released on bail without a GPS tracker.

The Billings Police Department has about 162 sworn officers. The Order of Protection case involving David Lee Carpenter has been ongoing for over two years, with two separate arrests and five misdemeanor criminal convictions.  The Billings Police Department headquarters is about a mile from the 430 Broadwater address of Gabriel Metcalf and his mother, Vivian.

On the basis of the affidavit and criminal complaint, federal Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan granted a pre-trial order of detention for Gabriel Metcalf. This means Gabriel will be held in jail without the possibility of bail until the trial, which could be years. While the real offender, David Lee Carpenter, remains free.

The evidence of an active, ongoing Order of Protection, the five convictions of David Lee Carpenter, and the complaints of numerous credible threats were not presented to Judge Cavan. They may aid in a defense plea to allow bail for Gabriel Metcalf.

Vivian, Gabriel’s mother, is deprived of the help of her son while he sits in jail with no bail in sight. She is poor as a church mouse, in part because of two years of a terror campaign by David Carpenter with several unidentified confederates, in part because of two months of COVID/pneumonia where neither she nor Gabriel could work. She has set up a GiveSendGo account to aid in Gabriel’s defense and to keep the utilities on in her modest home. At 71, Vivian continues to work part-time and to take in alterations at her small alterations shop. Her home and pets remain at risk.

This case is a rare opportunity to challenge the Gun-Free School Zone Act (GFSZA), passed in 1990 and ruled to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1994. But Gabriel Metcalf should not sit in jail as the case is argued. Free Gabriel Metcalf!

The addition of 11 words to the Act in 1996 has been enough to have 5 of 8 circuits who have ruled on it since 1996 claim the 11 words cured the constitutional defect. The Ninth Circuit, which includes Montana, is one of those five circuits. Three other circuits have maintained the GFSZA continues to be unconstitutional. The opportunity for a clear challenge may be lost if Gabriel becomes desperate enough to succumb to a plea deal in order to get out of jail and help his mother.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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