Adam "Ademo" Mueller, co-host of radio show Free Talk Live and founder of CopBlock.org, was found guilty Monday of illegal wiretapping and sentenced to three months in jail.
Although Mueller maintained no wrongdoing, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Michael Valentine said Mueller's intentions were "to disrupt, to be disobedient, to slow down the court system and clog it," the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.
Mueller was found guilty of secretly recording conversations with Manchester police Capt. Jonathan Hopkins, Manchester High School West Principal MaryEllen McGorry and school secretary Denise Michael without their consent. The recordings were Mueller's response to an incident last October, when video surfaced of 17-year-old Frank W. Harrington being lifted from his seat in the New Hampshire school's cafeteria by a school police officer and slammed face-first into a table.
The student, who said he was "just messing around" with his sister, was suspended for 12 days and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. When Mueller became aware of the incident, he took to CopBlock.org to defend Harrington and Michael Proulx, the student behind the video. CopBlock.org is an online project that, according to its site, seeks police accountability and "curtail the all-too-common rights-violations and unaccountability that today exists."
Mueller called the local police and school officials searching for answers, but chose to record the conversations -- and included soundbites in a video post. A few months later, he was charged with three felony counts of wiretapping, each of which carried a seven-year maximum penalty.
"The defendant doesn't want to follow the law and he's essentially asking you to join him in not following the law," Valentine told jurors Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Still, Mueller pleaded his case, noting that he "didn't cause them any harm -- physical or otherwise," adding that he called the officials while they were at their public jobs. He sought "jury nullification" of the state's wiretapping law, which bars recording without consent.
New Hampshire recently passed a jury nullification law that permits defense attorneys to inform jurors of their right to vote on conscience and void bad laws through "not guilty" verdicts.
"I don't regret what I did," Mueller said. "I don't think jails were built for people who make phone calls or chalk buildings." He added that jail time would not prevent him from continuing his activism.
Republican state Rep. Mark Warden attended the hearing, later telling AP that prosecuting Mueller was "a travesty and a total waste of taxpayer dollars," adding that the case should push the Legislature to overhaul the vague wiretapping law to boost public official accountability.
Watch Mueller's original video post above and footage of Monday's court proceedings below.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this piece incorrectly stated the first name of Rep. Mark Warden by way of the Associated Press. We regret the error.
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