Blogger: Conn. arrest for threats retaliatory

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A New Jersey blogger charged with inciting violence against Connecticut lawmakers has told a jury that his arrest was a “fraud” and retaliation for his “nasty” comments.

Harold “Hal” Turner urged readers in June 2009 to “take up arms” and suggesting that government officials “obey the Constitution or die.”

Closing arguments were made Friday in Hartford his case. Turner, of North Bergen, N.J., is representing himself. The blog posting was in response to legislation on Roman Catholic Church finances.

Turner says he never intended for anyone to get hurt and was exercising his free speech rights. But prosecutor Thomas Garcia says officials truly were concerned for their safety.

Jury deliberations are to begin Friday afternoon.

Turner is serving a nearly three-year prison sentence for threatening Illinois judges.