Man on Trial for Gun Thefts Wishes He Died in Shootout

Joseph Jakubowski sent anti-government manifesto to President Trump
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2017 4:47 PM CDT
Man on Trial for Gun Thefts Wishes He Died in Shootout
In this April 25, 2017 photo, Joseph Jakubowski is escorted into a room at the Rock County Courthouse for his preliminary hearing in Janesville, Wis.   (Angela Major)

A man accused of stealing an arsenal of firearms from a Wisconsin gun shop and sending an anti-government manifesto to President Trump says he wishes he had died in a gun battle with police, the AP reports. Joseph Jakubowski said his 10 days on the run last April were the best days of his life. Jakubowski's trial began in federal court on Monday. WMTV reported testimony ended on the first day after both sides called all their respective witnesses. The jury will reconvene Tuesday morning to deliberate. In an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, Jakubowski said he's proud that he was able to publicize his anger and frustration toward the government. But, he says, he would rather have died in a gun battle with officers: "I haven't been afraid of dying for a long time. How can you value life when you're told what to do for your entire life?"

The 33-year-old self-proclaimed anarchist faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges against him, including stealing firearms and silencers from a federally licensed firearms dealer, and being a felon in possession of same, according to the US Attorney's Office. Jakubowski had southern Wisconsin on edge after breaking into the Armageddon Gun Shop. Authorities learned he had written a rambling 161-page anti-government manifesto and that he had mailed it to the president. They feared Jakubowski would target schools or government buildings. Jakubowski said stealing the guns was central to his plan to show how the federal law forbidding felons from owning a gun was proof the government was corrupt. A landowner found Jakubowski camping on his property in April. Jakubowski had five guns and a samurai sword with him when he surrendered. (Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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