The Living (Mountain) Man Convicted of Eating Without a License


by DeVine Law

And you thought the Obamacare individual mandate to buy government-prescribed health insurance was oppression.

Technically, Ernie Wayne Tertelgte of Manhattan, Montana, self-identified as “The Living Man” governed by “natural law”, was convicted by a jury and fined $150 for charges related to fishing without a license. His arrest and first court appearance earlier this month (covered by JoeForAmerica here) caused an outpouring of support from Americans for a common man frustrated, in his natural right to work and feed himself, by government license requirements.

The defendant, affectionately called the “Mountain Man” by supporters, attempted in vain to represent himself at his trial last Friday and was removed from the courtroom after violating courtroom decorum rules and instructions from the presiding trial judge (video at the end of this column):

Tertelgte, 52, represented himself against misdemeanor charges of obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest. Before the jury was even selected, Tertelgte objected to the proceedings several times, and he was taken from the courtroom in handcuffs after Judge Wanda Drusch had deputies remove him. Tertelgte then watched the court proceedings from a nearby room via video.

The charges stem from an August 31 incident in which a game warden attempted to cite Tertelgte for fishing without a license. After the warden could not get Tertelgte to identify himself so he could issue a fishing citation, he called in a [City of] Three Forks (Gallatin County, MT) police officer for help. Police informed Tertelgte that he would be arrested for obstructing a peace officer. Tertelgte reportedly went limp and was uncooperative.

In court on Friday, FWP warden Adam Pankratz said Tertelgte refused to give him his name when asked, and told the court that he and the police officer repeatedly tried to stop the situation from escalating, but Tertelgte refused to comply. Tertelgte did not get a chance to cross-examine witnesses.

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