Mike Nowatzki, Forum News Service, Published December 05 2013
Girlfriend of white supremacist files restraining order against Leith website operatorLEITH, N.D. – The girlfriend of one of two white supremacists charged with terrorizing residents of Leith has filed a restraining order against the man who maintains an unofficial website about the town.
Webmaster Greg Bruce said a Grant County sheriff’s deputy served him with the temporary restraining order Wednesday afternoon.
The order bars Bruce from having contact with Deborah Henderson except through an attorney, or from saying anything slanderous, harassing or threatening about her or her family on the www.leithnd.com website or any other Internet source.
“Myself and other residents of the city of Leith are terrorized by these people and I am now being victimized again by being told to keep my mouth shut … how does that work?” Bruce wrote on the website, where he posted a copy of the restraining order.
In a phone interview Thursday night, Henderson said Bruce is “constantly saying really terrible things against me.”
“He’s just harassing me to the point where me and my children don’t feel safe,” she said, noting the website’s homepage has a link to a report for suspected child abuse or neglect that she believes is aimed at her family.
Henderson and her boyfriend, Kynan Dutton, relocated with their children in October from Oregon to Leith, where they moved in with Craig Cobb, the white supremacist who has purchased property in the city of about 20 residents and invited like-minded people to join him with hopes of creating an all-white enclave.
Dutton, 29, and Cobb, 62, each face seven felony counts of terrorizing for allegedly approaching Leith residents with loaded firearms last month. Dutton also is charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct stemming from his behavior during a Leith City Council meeting Oct. 18.
Both men are being held without bond and are scheduled to appear Monday in Grant County District Court in Carson.
Henderson continues to live in Cobb’s house with her three children ages 6 to 11. She said two of Cobb’s acquaintances recently came to the house and removed all of Cobb’s belongings, saying Cobb plans to relocate to Louisiana when his legal troubles in North Dakota are resolved and that the house will eventually be signed over to her.
Henderson said she has “never done anything to anyone in town,” and that she’s just trying to raise her children in peace. She said she’s not associated with the National Socialist Movement as her boyfriend was, and considers herself a separatist, saying, “I just know from experience with trial and error that it’s better to stay with your own.”
The restraining order against Bruce states that he may appear Monday to contest the order signed by Judge Thomas Schneider. Bruce said he had planned to be in court anyway as a witness and victim in the terrorizing cases, and he said the city’s hired attorney, Thomas Kelsch, may appear to represent him if necessary.
Kelsch did not return a phone message Thursday.
Henderson said she hopes to get the order extended.
Bruce, who lives in New Leipzig, said the restraining order infringes upon his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. He said he’s never said anything slanderous about Henderson – though he added, “I’ve come close” – and he said he plans to continue writing about her.
“I’m under the impression I can write anything I want as long as it’s not slanderous or libelous,” he said.
Bruce said his legal representation, if needed, will be paid from the Leith Legal Defense Fund. The group UnityND is holding a spaghetti supper to benefit the fund from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck.