Street preacher’s harasser guilty
Vail, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE ” A six-person jury found Warren W. Smith guilty of harassing a local street preacher Thursday, but not until evidence was presented about a trip to the X Games, the spiritual significance of skulls and a description of King Arthur’s sword.
Smith will be sentenced on July 31 at 3:30 p.m.
Smith, a Dillon resident who recycles rubber, represented himself Thursday against allegations that he verbally threatened to kill Milton Kapner on Jan. 30 as Kapner, otherwise known as Brother Nathaniel, a well-known street evangelist, was dancing and singing about Jesus to evening commuters.
Kapner, who often evangelizes on the corner of Highway 9 and Wildernest Road, testified that on the evening of Jan. 30, Smith was threatening him from across Highway 9 while carrying the prosecution’s main exhibit: a makeshift flagpole (a broom handle taped to a 3-foot sword) attached to a pirate skull-and-crossbones flag, as well as an American flag.
The flagpole was topped with a human skull with “Nathaniel” written in red ink across the forehead. According to Kapner, Smith began shouting, “I love you Brother Nathaniel,” before shouting, “Come over here, you little worm, I’m going to kill you.”
Both a 7/11 employee and a Silverthorne police officer told similar stories, and both said they felt threatened by Smith on the day of Smith’s arrest. Smith had also been cited for harassment the day before on the same corner across from Kapner. The pre-trial hearing for that harassment charge is scheduled for Tuesday.
Smith chose not to testify, but while representing himself, detailed a conflict that started at the X Games in Aspen. Smith thought he was escorting Kapner to be his bodyguard as Kapner evangelized to young teens, but Kapner said he only had paid Smith $50 for a ride, and that Smith was jealous of Kapner’s popularity at the event, and “abandoned” him.
Smith said he just wanted to leave early, and Kapner refused.
Later in the questioning, Smith asked about Kapner’s motivation: “Is the only reason you are on that corner to gain attention, is it not?”
Kapner replied: “Not to myself. To Jesus Christ.”
Then, Smith immediately tried to justify why “Nathaniel” was written on the skull.
Smith asked: “What does the skull on top of my flagpole mean to you?”
Kapner replied: “Death. I’m trying to represent life.”
Smith: “You did understand the skulls were paramount in my belief of my own forgiveness?”
Kapner: “I did not know that.”
Smith: “Did you know I name each one of my skulls?”
Kapner: “I did not know that.”
After an objection about relevance, Smith pointed to the “flagpole” and asked: “Do you know what type of sword that is?”
Kapner said: “No.”
Smith: “That sword has a name. Goes by the name of Excalibur. Do you know any stories about King Arthur and Excalibur?”
Kapner: “I do know about King Arthur.”
Smith: “King Arthur had a sword, did he not?”
Smith: “My skull. With Brother Nathaniel’s name on it. That’s intimidating to you?”
Smith: “Are you afraid of the bogeyman?”
The jury, comprised of four women and two men who ranged in careers from sophomores in college to technicians at Summit Medical Center, spent 45 minutes away from the courtroom before deciding on the harassment charge.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Smith said after hearing the guilty verdict. “I’m merely a pawn in the bigger machine. If they want to spend my tax dollars like this, God bless them.”
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