Ind. Supreme Court Will Hear Blogger’s Case
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A jailed blogger who targeted a Dearborn County judge with his internet writings will have his appeal heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Dan Brewington’s story has made national headlines and caught the attention of First Amendment advocates across the country. Eagle 99.3 has been covering the story since Brewington was indicted for Intimidation of a Judge and other charges in 2010.
Prosecutors said Brewington’s blog posts threatened Dearborn Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey as the judge was handling his nasty 2008 divorce and child custody case. In the blogs, Brewington wrote that the judge was a child abuser for limiting his contact with his children.
Brewington, 39, was convicted of the judge intimidation charge as well as other counts in a Dearborn County Superior Court II jury trial in 2011. A special out-of-county judge sentenced Brewington to five years in prison. He is currently serving that sentence at the Putnamville Correctional Facility.
In January, Brewington successfully appealed some of the charges he was convicted of to the Indiana Court of Appeals, However, the appellate court upheld the charges of Intimidation of a Judge, Obstruction of Justice, and Perjury.
Citing the website The Volohk Conspiracy, the Indiana Law Blog reported Friday that the Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Oral arguments have been scheduled for September 12.
The justices’ decision would likely come weeks or months later, which might have little impact on Brewington’s stay behind bars. According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, his earliest possible release from prison is September 15.
Following the Indiana Court of Appeals ruling, a number of First Amendment advocates and news organizations across the state and nation wrote the Indiana Supreme Court urging them to consider the case. Like Brewington’s own attorney, those supporters said his online criticisms of the judge were constitutionally-protected free speech.
In its brief to the Indiana Supreme Court, the state argued that Brewington’s blogging went beyond name calling. He allegedly contemplated arson, stalking, and battery against them.
“Such speech is threatening, and therefore not protected,” the state’s brief said, adding that Brewington “is no friend of free speech.”