Man Going To Jail Because
He Was Protecting His Property
Nearly 100 friends and family members gathered at Picnic Rock Farm on Route 3 Thursday to protest the three-year prison sentence now being served by the farm's manager, Ward Bird, on a criminal threatening conviction.
"Free Ward Bird'' signs were held up to passing motorists and yellow ribbons were passed out as a petition circulated among those who had gathered to show their support for Bird, a father of four and Boy Scout leader in his hometown of Moultonborough, NH. As darkness settled in, dozens of signs were held up, some of them by Boy Scouts.
Bird reported to the New Hampshire State Prison this week after the State Supreme Court last month upheld his April 2009 conviction in Carroll County Superior Court for threatening a woman with a .45-caliber handgun after she arrived at his property trying to locate land she was looking to buy on which she planned to house animals.
Bird had been sentenced to prison for no less than three and no more than six years, with the court citing RSA 651:2, II-g, which imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of three years "if a person is convicted of a felony, an element of which is the possession . . . of a deadly weapon, and the deadly weapon is a firearm."
"He had a gun but he didn't point it at her, even though that's what she said at the trial,'' said Ward Bird's wife, Ginny Bird. "He had been trying to get her to leave for a long time and held up the gun to check the safety as he was coming into the house to call police and tell them there was a trespasser on our property.
"He has a right to defend his property, his children and his family," she added. "But his constitutional rights aren't being upheld in this case. The woman should have been arrested for criminal trespass."