- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The attorney for a jailed white supremacist accused of terrorizing his fellow residents in a small North Dakota town has asked a judge to lower his client’s bond substantially.

Ryan Heintz filed a request Wednesday asking South Central District Judge Donald Jorgenson to lower Craig Cobb’s $1 million cash bond to $35,000 cash or surety, saying Cobb isn’t a flight risk.

Mr. Cobb has been a resident of the state of North Dakota for more than two years. He had an established residence and was gainfully employed up until only recently before his arrest on the current charges,” Heintz wrote. “While Mr. Cobb has no family ties to North Dakota, he does not intend to leave the state until these matters are resolved.”

Heintz said he believes Cobb’s high bond is “due to the high level of publicity in this case and other independent, societal beliefs and not due to the charges which have been alleged.”

Prosecutor Todd Schwarz told The Associated Press on Thursday that he will fight the request because he thinks the 62-year-old Cobb is a flight risk.

“A bond as low as he’s requesting is no incentive to keep him around,” Schwarz said.

He said that when Cobb was arrested in Leith in November on seven counts of felony terrorizing, Cobb had $11,000 cash in his pockets. He also noted that Cobb fled Vancouver, Canada, in 2010 after authorities there charged him with promoting hatred through a blog.

Cobb, a native of Missouri, came to North Dakota from Canada, bought a house and other property in Leith, and proceeded to try to take over the community of 23 people by encouraging others with white power views to join him and create a voting majority.

Cobb clashed with area residents and he and another man, Kynan Dutton, were arrested for allegedly threatening people with guns. Cobb and Dutton, 29, the only man to permanently join Cobb in Leith, said they were patrolling the town because of violence and harassment directed at them.

Cobb initially was ordered held without bond, but the state Supreme Court late last year ruled he had a right to bond and directed the district court to set a reasonable amount. Judge Cynthia Feland set Cobb’s bond at $1 million cash.

Dutton’s attorney, Robert Quick, has asked that his $50,000 cash bond be reduced to $2,000. Dutton’s girlfriend, Deborah Henderson, lives in Underwood and Dutton wants to provide for his family, Quick said.

Prosecutor Paul Emerson contends that Dutton could pose a danger to the public if released, saying he has few, if any, area ties and little money.

Cobb and Dutton each could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted. They are due back in court Feb. 10 for a pretrial conference. A trial date has not been set.

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Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake

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