The lawyer representing a Montana man who brutally attacked a 13-year-old boy during the national anthem is arguing his client did it because President Trump would have wanted him to.
According to The Missoulian, lawyer Lance Jasper — who is representing 39-year-old Curt Brockway — argued that Brockway suffered brain damage from a car accident, which severely impaired his judgment. Jasper stated that due to his brain damage, Brockway believed he was acting on Trump’s orders when, according to witnesses, he assaulted a 13-year-old boy in Superior, Montana during the national anthem.
Brockway told Mineral County, Montana sheriff’s deputy Micah Allard that he assaulted the teen just prior to a rodeo at the Superior fairgrounds, when the national anthem was playing, because the boy refused to take off his hat when Brockway told him that wearing a hat during the anthem was “disrespectful.” According to the charging documents, Brockway then grabbed the boy by the throat, picked him up, and slammed him to the ground, resulting in the boy suffering a cracked skull and a concussion.
“There was a little boy lying on the ground,” said Taylor Hennick, who witnessed the attack. “He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent.”
“He said [the teen] was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that,” Hennick added.
In his capacity as Brockway’s lawyer, Jasper argued that his client “didn’t understand it was a crime” to attack the boy because of President Trump’s “rhetoric” about the flag and the national anthem.
“His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Jasper told The Missoulian. “Trump never necessarily says go hurt somebody, but the message is absolutely clear,” Jasper said. “I am certain of the fact that [Brockway] was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president.”
“There is the defense that his mental illness or brain injury that will be raised, along with permission given by the president,” Jasper continued. “Whether that passes muster with the court as a viable defense is for a different day.”
According to Jasper, his client — who is a veteran — suffered a traumatic brain injury to his frontal lobe in 2000, following a severe automobile accident. Brockway is facing a charge of felony assault on a minor. He is currently serving a 10-year probation sentence over an assault with a deadly weapon charge in 2010, when he pulled a gun on a family member. Jasper represented Brockway in that case as well, and successfully argued that his brain injury, coupled with good behavior for seven years, was good cause to petition for probation for the remainder of the sentence.
Brockway is due for arraignment on August 14. Jasper said that before he enters an official plea on behalf of his client, he plans to seek a mental health evaluation for Brockway before considering how to proceed with the defense of his client.
(Featured image: Mineral County, Montana Sheriff’s Office/Public Domain)
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.