Franklin Sain's racist and sexist anti-gun-control e-mails are protected free speech, attorneys say
Franklin Sain, the government contractor arrested last week after sending racist and sexist e-mails to Representative Rhonda Fields, a prominent backer of gun-control legislation (see our previous coverage below), has now been formally charged with two counts, including harassment-ethnic intimidation, by the Denver District Attorney's Office.
More photos, police report below.
But Sain's attorneys argue that while his words were vile, they are protected free speech.
Back in 2005, as we've reported, Fields's son, Javad Marshall-Fields, agreed to serve as a material witness against Robert Ray, whom he'd seen murder a friend. But before he could testify, Marshall-Fields and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe, were killed.
Ray is currently on death row for ordering the slaying of a witness in connection with another murder, this one in 2004 -- and Sir Mario Owens, convicted of spraying the car in which Marshall-Fields and Wolfe died with a dozen bullets, is also slated to die. However, appeals will keep those sentences from being carried out for years.
This tragedy is among the factors that inspired Fields to run for state representative, and this year, she's been one of the leading forces at the legislature behind gun-control measures. Then, earlier this month, she received multiple e-mails traced to Colorado Springs' Sain, the chief operating officer for SofTec Solutions, based in Englewood. According to its website, the company is a frequent government contractor that has "staffed 298 recruiters nationwide for the U.S. Army," among other federal gigs.
Here's a typical example of the messages sent to Fields. Warning: They're explicit and uncensored:
I ordered a ton of new 30 round magazines today CUNTBAG.... go fuck yourself and your new law.... we wont [sic] abide by it.... CUNT NIGGER....Another e-mail references former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely wounded in an attack that killed several people, and another Colorado lawmaker, Beth McCann:
Watching you live, you are a pathetic NIGGER CUNT along with MCANN [sic], two cunts who are way overdue a good fucking...and hopefully somebody Gifords [sic] both of your asses with a gun....you are both pieces of monkey shit who have no right or reason to be in the position you are....fuck off cunts....
|Rosemary Harris Lytle.|
Then, yesterday afternoon, the Denver District Attorney's Office announced the charges it will be pursuing against Sain: attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony, and harassment-ethnic intimidation, a class-one misdemeanor.
Hours later, Sain's attorneys, Siddhartha Rathod and Qusair Mohamedbhai, argued that both of the counts should be dismissed on First Amendment grounds.
Continue for more about the charges against Franklin Sain, including our original coverage.