- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two Christians who were arrested and charged in 2011 for reading a Bible outside of a California DMV were found not guilty on Tuesday by a Murrieta judge, the Blaze first reported.

Mark Mackey, 60, a member of Reconciled Christian Fellowship and Pastor Bret Coronado, 44, were arrested when they went to their local DMV in Hemet and read passages from the Bible out loud as people stood in line for the building to open.

A video of the incident shows the first California Highway Patrol officer who arrived on the scene grabbing the Bible away from the man reading it and telling him to place his hands behind his back. The crime being that he couldn’t “preach to a captive audience.”

Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach charged Mr. Mackey and Mr. Coronado with “trespassing” on state property, a misdemeanor offense.


The men have now been cleared of those charges, according to the Advocates for Faith and Freedom, a non-profit law firm that represented them.

“The prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof that our clients committed a crime when they read the Bible aloud in front a line of people,” said Attorney Robert Tyler, who represented the men.

It doesn’t end there though. The Blaze reported that Advocates for Freedom filed a federal lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol before the criminal case unfolded. The suit was stayed until the end of the criminal case, but it will now move forward.