Texarkana — Declaring the evidence "legally insufficient to support the conviction," the state's Sixth Appellate District Court of Appeals this week reversed Jacksonville House of Israel member Robert Fox's 2009 conviction for tampering with a government record — formally acquitting him of the charge.
However, Fox, 64, remains in custody on a Homeland Security hold and still faces deportation to Canada on murder charges, authorities have confirmed. Constable Eric Hofley, of Winnipeg, Alberta, Canada, said Friday there still is a country-wide warrant for Fox's arrest.
District Attorney Rachel Patton could not immediately be reached Friday morning to comment on the overturning of Fox's 2009 conviction in the Second District Court of Cherokee County. But Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel said he remains confident the original verdict was justified.
The chief said the acquittal stems from Fox's continued manipulation of the system, which includes his continued refusal to recognize legal proceedings or statutes at any level of American government.
Also, Fox's adherence to “natural law” has prevented him subscribing to notions of taxation or even U.S. currency, officials say.
"This is part and parcel what he has done since he entered the country in the 1970s," the chief said. "He knows how to play with the system and teaches others to do it. In my opinion we convicted him. The court of appeals decided there wasn't enough information there and that is their problem, not mine. Jacksonville is rid of him, and that's all I really care about at the moment."
The Dec. 4 opinion by Chief Justice Josh R. Morriss III and Justices Jack Carter and Bailey C. Moseley states that a "claim to sue" notice presented to the city by Fox was not a false government document as his jury concluded and therefore was insufficient to support his conviction.
"We reverse the trial court’s judgment and render a judgment of acquittal," the court ruled Dec. 4. "We further order that the appellee, The State of Texas, pay all costs of this appeal."
Fox, whose real name is Robert Nicholas Fotti, is a Canadian citizen who has repeatedly denied he committed the crime for which he was convicted. In an interview in in the Bradshaw State Jail Facility in Rusk County earlier this year, Fox continued to insist the “House of Israel” is only a Bible study group that posed no threat to anyone.
Despite being a huge figure to believers in both “the Patriot Community” and the Republic of Texas, Fox denied any affiliation with them during the March 19 interview at Bradshaw State Jail .
“I may know Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, even Republic of Texas people,” Fox said. “I know all kinds of people; people know me from coast to coast. But, I am non-political. I have no voters registration, I have no membership in any Republican Party, Democratic Party, Republic of Texas, Libertarian, Sovereign Citizen, none of it. I have no membership in any of those organizations.”
In Canada, Fox is still wanted for the part he played in the Easter Sunday 1977 traffic deaths of a father and son. Fox was sentenced to nine months in jail for dangerous driving — manslaughter in the U.S. legal system — but vanished, then illegally entered the U.S. and took advantage of an amnesty program. Authorities say Fox changed his name in an attempt to escape capture and thwart his return to Canada.