‘Sovereign citizen’ pleads not guilty to attempted murder | TheUnion.com

‘Sovereign citizen’ pleads not guilty to attempted murder

The suspect in a shooting that injured a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger and a California Highway Patrol officer pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday in Nevada County Superior Court.

Brent Douglas Cole, 60, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a firearm on a peace officer, and is being held in county jail without bail.

The June 14 shoot-out near Edwards Crossing on the South Yuba River reportedly started after CHP officers received a request from BLM personnel to assist with an investigation involving vehicles in the campground area.

CHP Officer Brent Hardin and the BLM ranger, who has not been identified, headed to a makeshift campsite area off North Bloomfield Road. They reportedly were confronted by Cole and a gun battle ensued.

Hardin was treated for minor leg injuries related to gunfire, and the BLM ranger was treated for a reported gunshot wound to the shoulder. Cole was treated for multiple gunshot wounds.

Cole had been arrested by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office in late January and charged with carrying a loaded firearm and having a concealed firearm in a vehicle. Cole — who has drawn national media attention for his political views, including his belief in his rights as a sovereign citizen — initially chose to represent himself in that misdemeanor case. Deputy Public Defender Jody Schutz now is representing Cole in both cases.

Cole is next set to appear in court Sept. 25.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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