Alabama sovereign citizen leader loses appeal

James Timothy Turner (Source: File)
James Timothy Turner (Source: File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of a self-appointed sovereign citizen leader who challenged the federal government's authority over him.

A federal jury convicted James Timothy "Tim" Turner of Ozark of conspiracy, tax and fraud charges in 2013. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

In an appeal, Turner said a judge should have delayed his trial and required the federal government to prove the federal courts had jurisdiction over him. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the jurisdiction argument fails. A three-judge panel said the indictment against Turner alleged conduct constituting a federal offense and that gave the federal court jurisdiction.

Turner called himself the president of the sovereign citizen group Republic of the united States of America.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.