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Thread: Family: New Jersey man serving 7 years for guns he owned legally

  1. #1
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    Family: New Jersey man serving 7 years for guns he owned legally

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20...d_legally.html

    Posted on Tue, Nov. 30, 2010

    By JASON NARK
    Philadelphia Daily News
    narkj@phillynews.com 856-779-3231

    EVERYTHING Brian Aitken was or had worked for was wiped away one winter afternoon after his mother called the police on him.

    Separated from his wife, the entrepreneur and media consultant, now 27, had moved back home to New Jersey from Colorado toward the end of 2008 to be closer to their young son.
    In between jobs, his well-oiled life was running ragged, and on Jan. 2, 2009, when his ex canceled his visit with their son, he became distraught, muttered something to his mother, and left his parents' home in Mount Laurel, N.J.

    "He said something that scared her, things that a guy will only say to his mom, like . . . 'Life's not worth living anymore,' " said Larry Aitken, Brian's father.

    Sue Aitken, a trained social worker, decided to play it safe and called police, but she hung up before the 9-1-1 dispatcher could answer. Police traced the call and showed up anyway, and found two handguns in the trunk of Brian's car. And now Brian, her middle child, a graduate student with no prior criminal record, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for weapons charges.

    No one blames Sue Aitken for Brian's arrest, except herself maybe, but his father and attorney claim that the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the former Superior Court judge who tried the case ignored evidence that proved Brian had the guns legally. The family has asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for clemency and has garnered a great deal of support on a "Free Brian Aitken" Facebook page and among gun-rights advocates.

    Aitken and his supporters believe that he had a legal exemption to have the handguns in his car because he was moving from his parents' home to a residence in Hoboken.

    "This case is the perfect storm of injustice," said Aitken's attorney, Evan Nappen, of Eatontown, Monmouth County, who specializes in gun laws.

    The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and former Superior Court Judge James Morley said Aitken and his legal team tried during closing arguments to raise an issue related to Aitken's moving that wasn't presented during the trial, but Morley wouldn't consider it. Aitken remains in prison pending his appeal.

    A few weeks after Aitken's trial over the summer, Morley learned that Christie was not going to reappoint him, due in part to a 2009 case in which he dismissed animal-cruelty charges against a Moorestown cop accused of sticking his penis into the mouths of five calves. Morley said there was no way of knowing whether the calves had been "puzzled" or "tormented" by the officer's actions.

    Nappen thinks the animal-cruelty case exemplifies poor decision-making by Morley.

    "Brian didn't receive oral sex from calves; he only lawfully possessed firearms," Nappen said.

    A spokesman for Christie acknowledged that his office had received clemency requests for Aitken, but declined to comment further.

    Handguns in a duffel bag

    When Mount Laurel police arrived at the Aitkens' home on Jan. 2, 2009, they called Brian - who was driving to Hoboken - and asked him to return to his parents' home because they were worried. When he arrived, the cops checked his Honda Civic and, inside the trunk, in a box stuffed into a duffel bag with clothes, they found two handguns, both locked and unloaded as New Jersey law requires.

    Aitken had passed an FBI background check to buy them in Colorado when he lived there, his father said, and had contacted New Jersey State Police and discussed the proper way to transport them.

    "He bought them at Bass Pro Shops, for God's sake, not some guy named Tony on the street corner," his father said.

    New Jersey and Colorado are on opposite ends of the gun-control spectrum. In Colorado, all he needed was the background check to own the guns.

    In the Garden State, Aitken was required to have a purchaser's permit from New Jersey to own the guns and a carry permit to have them in his car.

    He also was charged with having "large capacity" magazines and hollow-point bullets, which one state gun-control advocate found troubling.

    New Jersey allows exemptions for gun owners to transport weapons for hunting or if they are moving from one residence to another. During the trial, Aitken's mother testified that her son was moving things out, and his friend in Hoboken testified he was moving things in. A Mount Laurel officer, according to Larry Aitken, testified that he saw boxes of dishes and clothes in the Honda Civic on the day of the arrest.

    The exemption statute, according to the prosecutor's office, specifies that legal guns can be transported "while moving." Despite testimony about his moving to Hoboken, a spokesman for the prosecutor said the evidence suggested that Aitken had moved months earlier, from Colorado to Mount Laurel. "Again, there was no evidence that he was then presently moving," spokesman Joel Bewley said.

    After Nappen raised the moving-exemption issue, he said, the jury asked Judge Morley for the exemption statute several times and he refused to hand it over to them. Morley, in a phone interview, echoed the sentiments of the prosecutor's office.

    "My recollection of the case is that I ruled he had not presented evidence sufficient to justify giving the jury the charge on the affirmative offense that he was in the process of moving," Morley said.

    SOUND REALLY FISHY AND THE JUDGE LOOKS LIKE HE IS UP TO SOMETHING.
    Last edited by zack991; 12-01-2010 at 01:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member KansasMustang's Avatar
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    That's just wrong on so many levels.
    ‘‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’’ Thomas Jefferson

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    ABP. There is a fairly thorough discussion of this in another thread.

    I won't go into detail again, but he did, in fact, break NJ law by driving around with guns in his trunk. The beef is with NJ law, not with its correct enforcement.

    The story does illustrate one thing we should always be aware of: Anything you say to the police can and will be used against you--or a loved one. Say nothing. This is not evil; it is just reality: Police, by their very nature, exist to put lawbreakers behind bars, even those going to great pains not to break the law, but who inadvertently do anyway.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    The SICK thing is, if Mr. Aitken had said to his mother "I think I'll go skull-f$*# a few baby cows" he would probably still be free, judging by the presiding judge's track record.

    Two legally-owned firearms unloaded, and being legally transported per FOPA and State law = 7 years in prison...

    Sexually molesting 5 farm animals = a pat on the back, and an "attaboy" from the judge.

    I'm ready to start looking for a new planet to inhabit. This one has gone completely round the bend...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 12-01-2010 at 10:27 AM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    But you know, while were at it, let's just name names, post pics, and let people know how they REALLY do things in NJ...

    Judge James Morley
    (who approves of police officers sticking their penises in the mouths of farm animals, and doesn't believe that a 45-year-old teacher's aid who had sex with a 16 year old student should be classified as a sexual predator...)
    Luckily for the bovine population of NJ, this judge was not re-appointed by Gov. Christie this year, and now he's crying foul...

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201..._judge_no.html

    This is the judge who, with his clear thinking, logical view of the law, and realistic sense of justice, sent Mr. Aitken up the river. </sarcasm>

    Hopefully Gov. Christie will grant Mr. Aitken a pardon.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Moorestown police officer Robert Melia
    (who puts his penis in the mouths of cows, and also has been charged with sexually molesting two under-aged girls and one under-aged boy)
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...lia_for_s.html

    http://pysih.com/2009/10/04/robert-melia-jr/
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Dreamer; 12-01-2010 at 10:48 AM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    ABP. There is a fairly thorough discussion of this in another thread.

    I won't go into detail again, but he did, in fact, break NJ law by driving around with guns in his trunk. The beef is with NJ law, not with its correct enforcement.

    The story does illustrate one thing we should always be aware of: Anything you say to the police can and will be used against you--or a loved one. Say nothing. This is not evil; it is just reality: Police, by their very nature, exist to put lawbreakers behind bars, even those going to great pains not to break the law, but who inadvertently do anyway.
    He did not break the law until he returned to his mother's house, AT THE REQUEST OF THE POLICE!!!

    He really got stupid when he allowed the police access to his vehicle.

    The judge refusing to allow the jury access to the proper applicable laws should not only have been removed from the bench, he should be serving a felony sentence in Raway, getting regularly introduced to BUBBA.

    This is a prime example of a "new guy in town" getting railroaded.

    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurlyWolf View Post
    He did not break the law until he returned to his mother's house, AT THE REQUEST OF THE POLICE!!!

    He really got stupid when he allowed the police access to his vehicle.

    The judge refusing to allow the jury access to the proper applicable laws should not only have been removed from the bench, he should be serving a felony sentence in Raway, getting regularly introduced to BUBBA.

    This is a prime example of a "new guy in town" getting railroaded.

    cant agree more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurlyWolf View Post
    He did not break the law until he returned to his mother's house, AT THE REQUEST OF THE POLICE!!!
    This statement is false on its face. Think about the word "return."

    Anyway, I am not going to get into parallel discussions, having to repost stuff in two different threads. If you want to discuss this further with me, please read what I posted in the other thread and respond to it.

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    This statement is false on its face. Think about the word "return."

    Anyway, I am not going to get into parallel discussions, having to repost stuff in two different threads. If you want to discuss this further with me, please read what I posted in the other thread and respond to it.
    Not interested.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)

  10. #10
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    Yeah, why let your mis...er...preconceptions be challenged?

    That's OK. Moving on.
    Last edited by eye95; 12-02-2010 at 09:58 PM.

  11. #11
    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Yeah, why let your mis...er...preconceptions be challenged?

    That's OK. Moving on.

    We are just going to disagree on this one. Arguing will do nothing but aggravate both of us.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)

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