Sellner Acquitted At Mock Trial 12-1-93
By William Simonsen
Condon, Mont. — Roberta Sellner, said Monday that her husband Gordon, who is wanted by authorities for attempted deliberate homicide of a sheriffs deputy, has already been found innocent of the charge.
She said a trial was held recently by his supporters in the Swan Valley at which Sellner was found not guilty and the deputy he allegedly shot was found guilty of the crime.
She said formal charges against her husband should be dropped.
Gordon Sellner has been hiding from authorities for almost 18 months, since he allegedly shot Missoula County Deputy Sheriff Bob Parcell in the chest on June 27, 1992.
Sellner allegedly shot Parcell while Parcell was chasing him through the woods near Sellner’s home in the Swan Valley.
Larry Nistler, Lake County attorney, said some “radical fringe groups have recently decided to hold trials of their own.”
Nistler said he would not consider dropping the attempted deliberate homicide charge against Gordon Sellner.
A federal flight-from-justice warrant has also been issued for Gordon Sellner.
“There is no reason to question the charges as they have been made. They will continue until unchanged until Sellner stands trial,” said Nistler.
Roberta Sellner said her husband could have killed Parcell.
She said her husband once met a grizzly bear on a path in the woods in the middle of the night and killed the bear, so he could easily have killed Parcell if that had been his intention.
She said her husband acted only in self defense after he was shot at by Parcell.
Parcell was shot in the chest while wearing a bullet-proof vest. He suffered only minor injuries when his badge disintegrated from the impact of the bullet.
As a result of the ad hoc trial, posters portraying Parcell as a wanted man are being circulated in the Swan Valley.
Lake County Sheriff Joe Geldrich said a copy of the poster had been mailed to him.
Roberta Sellner said she has been in touch with her husband. She said he is “strong and healthy and well” while in hiding.
Roberta Sellner said she is the spokesman for her husband. He will not surrender to authorities, she said.
She blamed Parcell for the shooting. She claimed Parcell shot at her husband first
She said Parcell should be suspended from duty because of the way he handled the situation with her husband “before he does it to some other people.”
Parcell allegedly attempted to stop Sellner to interview him as a witness to a possible crime.
Gordon Sellner was known to authorities before the shooting incident as a tax protester.
Roberta Sellner said his tax protests “didn’t hurt anybody.” She said, “We didn’t cheat on our taxes, we just didn’t file because we didn’t owe anything.”
She said the only way to change society is to “:stand up and say no to taxes.”
Last August Deputy Lake County Mitch Young sent Sellner a letter offering to reduce his bail to $10,000 if he would turn himself in unarmed at the county courthouse by Aug. 20.
The current warrant for Sellner’s arrest does not set bail, meaning Sellner could be held without bond if arrested.
Lake County Sheriff Joe Geldrich said the offer was made in an effort to avoid a direct confrontation with Sellner.
Rewards of up to $11,500 have been offered for information leading to Sellner’s arrest.
Sellner Sentenced By Real Judge 10/23/96
By William Simonsen
Polson, Mont. — Quoting the Old Testament, District Court Judge C.B. McNeil sent Gordon Sellner to prison for life plus ten years.
Sellner, 57, Condon, was sentenced last Wednesday on his conviction for attempted deliberate homicide of a deputy sherif was greater than what was asked by the prosecution in the case. And Sellner’s attorney asked for a new trial in the case.
McNeil said Sellner had testified “with a Bible in his hand” that he had heard the voice of God tell him to shoot Missoula County Deputy Bob Parcell.
McNeil said in one of the ten commandments in the book of Exodus Moses told men, “Thou shalt not kill.”
McNeil also quoted from the U.S. Constitution during the sentencing because Sellner had frequently quoted from it during his defense, McNeil said.
McNeil said the judicial system had functioned as it was designed and the “people’s voice has been expressed” in setting the prison terms for Sellner’s crime.
McNeil added the 10 year sentence to the life term requested by the prosecutor.
Deputy Lake County Attorney Mitch Young told McNeil his office wanted Sellner sentenced to life without parole until the age of 70. Young said he felt there was little chance for Sellner to be rehabilitated. He said he chose the age of 70 “because at that he would be less inclined to engage in these battles.”
McNeil asked Young if wanted any time added because Sellner used a weapon in the crime.
Young said he did not ask for additional time added to the sentence because he did not know how it would effect the ban on parole he requested.
Sellner’s attorney, John DeCamp, objected to parts of the pre-sentence report prepared by a state probation and parole officer.
He said part of the report referred to Sellner’s political beliefs and a separate part of the report contained Parcell’s opinion of the sentence Sellner should receive.
McNeil told DeCamp, (Sellner) “will not be sentenced based on any political ideas or beliefs.”
DeCamp asked that Sellner be allowed to serve his time under house arrest at his sawmill in the Swan Valley so he would remain productive and not become a burden on taxpayers.
DeCamp said the prosecution’s witnesses testified Sellner “is not violent”, so should be considered for the house arrest program.
But McNeil ignored the recommendations of both attorneys.
He set the sentences to run consecutively. McNeil said current practice of the state Department of Corrections would not make Sellner eligible for parole for 17 years. After 17 years were served, Sellner would still have to serve the additional 10 years for the use of a weapon.
Under McNeil’s sentence, Sellner will not be eligible for parole until age 84.
DeCamp filed his motion for a new trial Oct. 11.
After the hearing he said there are “crystal clear issues for appeal” in the case.
DeCamp said the jury did not consider any lesser charges for Sellner, or make any allowance for mitigating circumstances in the case.
DeCamp continued to maintain Sellner was in fear for his life during the shooting of Parcell.
Many of Sellner’s family members were present for the sentencing, as were Parcell and several of his children.
© 2013 William Simonsen. All rights reserved.