Judge Wants Proof That Signal Mountain Man Made "True Threat" Against Muslim Town; Robert Doggart Allowed Home Confinement

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Robert Doggart
Robert Doggart

Federal Judge Curtis Collier has directed attorneys who worked out a plea deal for a Signal Mountain man who admitted plotting to kill Muslims in a town in Upstate New York to show that it was "a true threat."

And, Federal Magistrate Susan K. Lee has reversed her earlier ruling and allowed 63-year-old Robert Rankin Doggart to go free pending disposition of the case.

Prosecutor Perry Piper and attorneys Bryan Hoss and Janie Parks Varnell had worked out a deal in which Doggart would plead guilty to a one-count bill of information charging him with interstate communication of threats. He would face up to five years in prison.

However, Judge Collier did not go along with that arrangement and directed the attorneys to file within 21 days "briefs addressing whether the factual basis in the proposed plea deal agreement contains communication on defendant's part amounting to a 'true threat' as required under" one section of federal law.

Prosecutor Piper said both the government and the defense had acknowledged that it was "a true threat."

He said Doggart, a former candidate for Congress in the 4th District, had focused on the Muslim community of Islamberg outside Hancock, N.Y., and tried to recruit "gunners" who would go with him to kill individuals there and destroy several buildings, including a mosque and a school.

The prosecutor said the government had tapped Doggart's phone and listened to him discussing the plot with several individuals. He said Doggart also made Facebook posts about the plan.

He said Doggart in one call said, "Those guys (have) to be killed. Their buildings need to be burnt down. If we can get in there and do that not losing a man, even the better."

The prosecutor said Doggart went to Nashville and showed an individual a map of Islamberg. He said he identified the buildings he wanted destroyed.

He said Doggart traveled to Greenville, S.C., and told an individual there his M-4 was "battle tested" at 350 meters, that he would serve as the stand-off gunner during the assault, and that he would shoot the residents of Islamberg during the attack."

After a detention hearing in which a federal agent testified at length about Doggart's actions, Magistrate Lee ordered him detained. She said, "I find clear and convincing evidence that the defendant it is a danger to the community and by the preponderance of the evidence that defendant is a risk of non-appearance. Based on the continuing nature of the offenses shown by proof and the evidence of undefined and potentially disabling mental health issues, and evidence of substance abuse issues, I conclude the defendant is a danger to the community and a risk of non-appearance and that there are no conditions or combinations of conditions that can assure defendant's appearance or the safety of any other person and the community at this time. Defendant must therefore be detained without bail."

At a later hearing, Magistrate Lee ordered Doggart's release after hearing evidence regarding his mental health situation. His attorneys said he had weaned himself from his prescription pain medication and was no longer consuming alcohol.

Magistrate Lee said he could be released into the custody of two family members, that he undergo psychiatric treatment, refrain from any use of alcohol or illegal drugs, participate in a program of substance abuse treatment if directed by his probation officer, remain under home confinement, submit to location monitoring, and have no Internet access."

Defense attorneys said Doggart has numerous degrees and certificates, is a veteran, and an ordained minister of the Christian National Church. 

Judge Collier later affirmed the release by Magistrate Lee after an appeal by the government.

He said the government "has not shown by clear and convincing evidence defendant's release would pose an unreasonable danger to the community or any particular individual."

Two officials of The Muslims of America, which is headquartered at Hancock, N.Y., wrote Judge Collier on June 10, asking to be heard in the case. They objected to the plea agreement.

Hussein Adams and Khadijah Smith said, "We respectfully move this court to allow us as victims in this matter to be heard on the issue of Mr. Doggart's plea agreement currently pending. We respectfully do not believe that the plea arrangement is fair, reasonable or in the interest of justice as it relates to us his victims or to society as a whole.

"We welcome the opportunity to come before your honor to offer an opinion as to what should be considered in a disposition of this case. We find it ironic and disappointing that Mr. Doggart stated during his terror attack planning that he wished not to die while killing the residents of Islamberg, and instead he wished to return home to the family he loved. Now he is indeed home under house arrest and being cared for by the family who provides him love and comfort. Where is the punishment for his evil and criminal actions?"

 

 


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: AVERETTE, JAMES BRANDON 1300 WHOOTEN RD RINGGOLD, 30736 Age at Arrest: 29 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous ... (click for more)

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ARNOLD, TRACY DARRYL 9517 LOT A BARBEE ROAD SODDY DASIY, 37379 Age at Arrest: 56 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED ... (click for more)

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order by Chairman Henderson. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Chairman Henderson). III. Special Presentation. ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: AVERETTE, JAMES BRANDON 1300 WHOOTEN RD RINGGOLD, 30736 Age at Arrest: 29 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BALLARD, ANTHONY MONTREL 2401 Chamberlain Ave Chattanooga, 374043314 Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ARNOLD, TRACY DARRYL 9517 LOT A BARBEE ROAD SODDY DASIY, 37379 Age at Arrest: 56 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED ASSAULT POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE FOR RESALE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA FAILURE TO APPEAR --- BENIBO, DAFIYA B 1615 LYNBROOK AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 Age at Arrest: ... (click for more)

Opinion

Don't Double The City Judge's Workload Or Cut Their Pay

Why would any City Council person want to double the work load of our wonderful city judge and cut her pay in half? The answer should be no, no, no. Ed Gravitte (click for more)

Why Mandates Are Ridiculous - And Response

Hamilton County COVID cases 62,525 Hamilton County COVID deaths 638 By my math 62525/638 = 0.012 percent 0.012 percent of people that got COVID died from it 99.988 percent survived including myself I just wanted to point out how ridiculous vaccine mandates really are and how COVID hysteria, driven by the media and federal government, is unwarranted. Vaccines reduce ... (click for more)

Sports

Tennessee Comeback Falls Short As Kiffin's Ole Miss Rebels Prevail, 31-26

Heisman candidate Matt Corral completed 21 of 38 passes for 231 yards and threw two touchdown passes, but the story of the night is what he did with his legs. Corral had a career-high 195 yards on the ground as Ole Miss silenced a hostile Tennessee crowd and left town with a wild 31-26 victory over the Volunteers. In total, Corral made up 426 of 510 total yards for the Rebels. ... (click for more)

Maxwell Leads Defense As Mocs Prevail, 21-16

Devonnsha Maxwell lined up shaded just outside the right tackle’s shoulder. He blasted out of his stance and knocked the Buccaneer blocker backward. Maxwell bent around the edge, lunged toward ETSU quarterback Tyler Riddell, and brought him to the ground for one of his three and a half drive-killing fourth quarter sacks. Maxwell’s school-record 4.5 sacks on the day was a UT-Chattanooga ... (click for more)