Judge denies Lindemuth motion to remove GPS tracking device

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TOEPKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- After jurors acquitted him of 114 criminal counts and a federal prosecutor dismissed two more counts leaving only one count, Topeka businessman Kent D. Lindemuth wanted his global positioning system device removed from his ankle.

The prosecutor wanted it to remain strapped on Lindemuth’s ankle.

Following a hearing earlier this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara denied the request to remove the GPS device. GPS tracks the whereabouts of the defendant wearing it.

On April 10 and 11, Lindemuth was tried in U.S. District Court on one felony count of possessing and receiving a Remington .22-caliber rifle and a Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver. The verdict in that case is pending.

Through his attorneys, Lindemuth, 66, requested the judge to order the removal of the GPS device from his ankle.

“A primary reason (to monitor Lindemuth’s) movements with GPS was his possession of over 2,000 firearms, to ensure that he would not attempt to have access to those weapons,” Lindemuth attorneys wrote. Those firearms presently are in the custody of the bankruptcy trustee or federal authorities.

“There is no reasonable basis for believing that (Lindemuth) poses a risk of flight or a danger risk to the community nor is there any reason to monitor his movements to assure that he will not attempt to gain access to the weapons,” Lindemuth attorneys William Skepnek and Kevin W. Babbit said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hathaway called the defense motion “frivolous” and said Lindmuth “must be monitored” in his activities.

Lindemuth’s actions caused his attorneys “to inadvertently violate their candor to the tribunal by causing them to make misrepresentations about everything from where he was residing to the number of firearms he possessed,” Hathaway said.

Court hearings before a magistrate judge were conducted to determine whether Lindemuth violated conditions of his release from custody, Hathaway said, and the judge found prosecution allegations were true, but Lindemuth’s release wasn’t revoked.

After one hearing about the allegations, the judge ordered Lindemuth to undergo GPS monitoring and home curfew.

Lindemuth “should be grateful for all of the leniency shown to him by the court but requesting discontinuance of GPS monitoring is frivolous,” Hathaway wrote, adding Lindemuth isn’t entitled to the relief he sought.

In answer to Hathaway, defense attorneys said Lindemuth appeared at every hearing and “trial over a two-year period (and he) is entitled to the presumption of the most minimal necessary conditions of release.” The prosecution didn’t justify requiring Lindemuth to continue to wear the GPS device, the defense said.

The magistrate judge denied the motion to removing the tracking device.

Prosecution and defense attorneys will make closing arguments on July 27 tied to the remaining criminal charge.

Rather than a jury deciding the verdict, the judge will decide whether to convict or acquit Lindemuth.

At the time of the auction in November 2016, Lindemuth was under a federal judge’s order to not possess firearms and had signed a form acknowledging the prohibition of firearm possession or acquisition.

The prosecution contended the rifle and pistol were purchased by a straw buyer under the direction of Lindemuth, who attended the auction.

Lindemuth’s possession of firearms was restricted after he was convicted of a felony charge of making a criminal threat in Shawnee County District Court.
However, a state appellate court overturned the state conviction, and Lindemuth was acquitted of more than 100 federal counts following a trial in late 2017.