Mansion Squatter's Defense: I'm a Moor and I Own It
His jury, however, disagrees
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2013 9:25 AM CDT
Lamont Butler's booking photo.   (Prince George's County Police Department)

(Newser) – The Washington Post calls it the "one of the most bizarre burglary cases in the region in years," and it's tough to argue: A 29-year-old man moved into a vacant $6 million mansion and claimed rightful ownership as a Moorish American National. In fact, Lamont Butler argued—literally so, because he defended himself in court—that all of the US really belongs to him and his Moor peers because the continent is still part of a Moroccan empire and thus our modern leases are meaningless. Unfortunately for him and his girlfriend, the jury didn't agree and convicted both on charges including burglary and identity fraud. See the Post for the full story, which gets into how Butler's case fits into the "sovereign citizen" movement. Indeed, "it seemed like they were making up their own laws,” says one juror.