(Note: This is a reprint of my column from the April 26 Newton County News.)
Justice may be about to arrive for Martin Lindstedt.
For those who have been on the wrong side of Lindstedt (and that includes most anyone who is living and breathing), having him separated from society for the past two years has been a blessing.
Lindstedt is loud, profane, obnoxious, and just about any other negative adjective you can think of, and even worse, he is awaiting trial in Newton County Circuit Court on a charge of first degree statutory sodomy, a crime that, if he is guilty of it, ranks Lindstedt as the lowest of the low.
Justice, however, has been anything but swift, in the Martin Lindstedt case. Lindstedt was arrested in May 2005 for the crime, which allegedly occurred in March 2003. His next court hearing in the case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, May 17, before Circuit Court Judge John LePage. Though Lindstedt has either been in jail or in a mental hospital for more than two years, this at long last will be his preliminary hearing...barring yet another delay.
Early proceedings in the Lindstedt case could accurately be described as a circus. He shaved on one half of his face and let his beard grow on the other. He refused to concede that the court had any authority over him and created disruptions every few seconds.
A fed up Judge Kevin Selby eventually leveled 33 contempt charges against Lindstedt and ordered the Granby resident to undergo a mental evaluation. And this was just for seeing Martin Lindstedt do what Martin Lindstedt has always done.
To Newton County residents, and everyone else who has had dealings with him, any time he has filed another lawsuit or filed to run for another public office, we just shrugged our shoulders and said, "That's just Martin."
It was only two years ago that Lindstedt's lawsuit against Governor Matt Blunt was rejected by a federal judge. Lindstedt ran against Blunt in the Republican primary for governor in 2004. Blunt was serving as secretary of state at the time and refused to provide a link to Lindstedt's homepage on the secretary of state's website due to racist content.
In his lawsuit, Lindstedt contended that was an illegal decision. He was also irritated by Blunt's refusal to allow him to use the nickname "Martin 'Lawsuit' Lindstedt" on the ballot. As a solution to the problem, Lindstedt suggested that Blunt be required to run on the November 2004 general election ballot under the name "Matt 'Runt" Blunt." For some reason, Judge Richard Dorr did not agree to this.
For a long time, Lindstedt's lawsuits have been an irritant to the public officials who have been sued, and an amusement to the rest of us.
That all changed when Lindstedt was charged with a sexual crime involving a minor.
At that point, even the racists dropped their support of Lindstedt, who says he is a minister of the Church of the Sons of YHVH. That group expelled him from the ministerial ranks.
Morris Gulett, church leader, in a letter to his small flock, said, "I have been made aware that Martin Lindstedt, from a jail cell in Grandby (sic) Missouri, is writing and distributing some very disturbing ideas, such as and I quote, 'Prion Poisoning, which is the mass poisoning of wild game food sources. The skinning alive of prisoners and execution by slow torture and the gang rape of female whigger herd animals to use them as brooding stock.' "
Gulett added, "This letter is to make public that this (Lindstedt's status as a pastor in the church) is no longer the case. As of this moment, Martin Lindstedt's ordination as a pastor is null and void and his membership status with the Legion of Saints is revoked. I cannot in good conscience allow anyone who promotes such ungodly behavior and tactics to carry a valid Ordination Certificate that bears our church standard and my signature."
Gulett said he does not believe that Lindstedt is guilty of child molestation.
Gulett is no prize, either. He is an Aryan Nations leader, who was arrested in March 1997 for ramming a Dayton, Ohio, police department cruiser with his van. He served one year in prison for that act, following a plea agreement.
The action to expel Lindstedt from the church was taken in November 2005, shortly after Lindstedt's letters became public.
Now it's time for Missouri's judicial system to provide justice for Lindstedt, whether it be a long prison sentence, freedom or something in-between. The value of a society is in how it treats its most despised individuals. To many, he falls into that category.
We may have to cover our ears, but Martin Lindstedt, the same as any American, deserves his day in court.