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N.D. prosecutor wants one menacing conviction against white separatist dismissed

CARSON – Grant County State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz is asking a judge to throw out one of the seven convictions against a white separatist who pleaded guilty to menacing people last fall in Leith.

The conviction and judgment against Kynan Dutton, 29, that Schwarz now seeks to have quashed is for the same charge that Schwarz had dismissed against white supremacist Craig Cobb.

Both charges were originally filed as felony terrorizing and were related to alleged victim Gregory Bruce of New Leipzig, who operates Leith’s unofficial website.

Dutton pleaded guilty in January to five counts of menacing and two counts of disorderly conduct in a plea agreement that reduced the terrorizing charges. A judge gave Dutton a suspended jail sentence and two years of supervised probation.

Schwarz claims Bruce later made contradictory statements about whether he feared that Cobb was going to hurt him. Bruce has said the comment in question was taken out of context.

Schwarz’s motion also states that Bruce showed a media outlet a roll of cash that Bruce indicated he received for providing information, “leaving his motive for participating in the case in question.” Bruce said he planned to donate the cash to Leith’s legal fund.

Schwarz, in his motion filed Thursday to amend the criminal judgment, says it won’t affect Dutton’s convictions on the other six counts or his terms of probation.

Cobb, 62, who bought up property in Leith with hopes of turning it into an all-white enclave, entered guilty pleas last week to one count of felony terrorizing and five counts of misdemeanor menacing as part of a plea agreement that calls for him to serve no additional jail time and four years of supervised probation. But the judge deferred acceptance of the plea agreement and ordered a presentence investigation.

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.