Attorney: Jakubowski traveled mostly on foot, was headed to South Dakota

The Janesville man accused of stealing a number of weapons from a local gun shop and sending an anti-government manifesto to the White House appeared in federal and state court on Tuesday.

Joseph Jakubowski appeared in federal court in Madison on Tuesday on felony possession and theft of firearms charges.

Jakubowski didn’t stand as Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker entered the court, nor did he speak during the brief arraignment. Public defender Joe Bugni entered pleas of not guilty on Jakubowski’s behalf.

Prosecutors said Jakubowski mailed a rambling manifesto to President Donald Trump and then stole 18 firearms from a store in Janesville, Wisconsin, on April 4. He was arrested 10 days later while camping on private property in southwestern Wisconsin, about 140 miles from Janesville.

During Jakubowski’s afternoon court hearing in Rock County Court, he remained silent, showing a very different demeanor than at his initial appearance last week during which he interrupted the court commission on several occasions.

His attorney said Jakubowski is still working with authorities to locate around a dozen firearms he is accused of stealing. Jakubowski pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

His attorney said Tuesday that Jakubowski never intended to hurt anyone.

“His intentions with the firearms were to essentially protect himself and his family and he felt like he was wronged because of that,” Jakubowski’s attorney, Michael Murphy, said. “He didn’t intend on hurting anybody. He was on his way out to go off the grid, essentially.”

Murphy said Jakubowski traveled mostly on foot and received a ride from a stranger before authorities found him. He said he was planning to head to South Dakota.

“A lot of the travels he made were at night and he made it with a compass,” Murphy said. “He did his best to avoid homes, roads and any contact with people. He didn’t want to scare anybody.”

A detective from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday detailed the April 4 robbery in court. Video footage of the robbery shows Jakubowski stealing a number of weapons and ammunition.

The detective testified that Jakubowski’s blood was found at the scene of the robbery.

Murphy said he is not concerned with Jakubowski’s mental state, and that he is competent to stand trial.

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