HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A New Jersey blogger charged with inciting violence against Connecticut lawmakers by urging people to “take up arms” and suggesting that government officials “obey the constitution or die” has told a jury that his arrest was a “fraud” and retaliation for his “nasty” comments.

Closing arguments were made Friday in Hartford Superior Court in the case of Harold “Hal” Turner of North Bergen, N.J., who represented himself. The June 2009 blog posting was in response to legislation on Roman Catholic Church finances.

Turner said he never intended for anyone to get hurt and was only exercising his free speech rights. But prosecutor Thomas Garcia said officials truly were concerned for their safety.

Deliberations were to begin Friday afternoon.

Turner is serving a nearly three-year prison sentence for threatening Illinois judges.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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