Blogger wants Conn. ‘take up arms’ charges tossed

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ? The lawyer for a blogger charged with inciting violence by urging readers to “take up arms” against Connecticut lawmakers says his client’s comments were similar to when baseball fans shout, “Kill the umpire!”

Public defender John Stawicki told a Hartford Superior Court judge on Tuesday that charges against Harold “Hal” Turner should be dismissed because he was exercising free speech rights and didn’t intend to cause harm.

The North Bergen, N.J., resident was arrested in 2009 after he suggested that government officials “obey the constitution or die” in response to legislation on Catholic Church finances that later failed.

Judge Carl Schuman didn’t immediately make a decision.

Turner is already serving a nearly three-year prison sentence for making death threats against federal judges in Illinois.