ROCKINGHAM — A woman in court for traffic violations is facing criminal charges following an altercation with Richmond County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday morning.
Marva Denyse Gillis, 56, of Aberdeen was seated in the courtroom from the beginning of court Tuesday but was gone by the time it was her turn to appear before the judge regarding citations for driving without an operator’s license and failure to yield to a siren, according to the clerk’s office and the jail. The judge issued a warrant for her arrest.
The arresting officer, Deputy Mike Childers, said Gillis scratched his hand, slapped at him and pulled away while he tried to arrest her. He added that Gillis maintained that he “did not have the right” to arrest her because she is a “sovereign citizen.”
Sovereign citizens are people who follow their own interpretation of the law and generally consider themselves exempt from the laws of the United States and often generate mountains of court documents fighting charges as light as traffic violations.
Gillis has previously “objected to the jurisdiction” of the court during proceedings over a traffic citation from April 2017, documents show.
She is charged with two misdemeanor counts of failure to appear and one misdemeanor count of resisting a public officer. Gillis was given a $2,500 unsecured bond on the resisting a public officer charge and is being held without bond at the Richmond County Jail for the other charges.
Gillis is currently facing, in addition to the charges listed above, eight misdemeanors: four counts of resisting a public officer, two counts of disorderly conduct in a public building and two counts of second-degree trespassing. She is also facing traffic violations for driving without an operator’s license and failure to heed a light or siren, as well as an infraction for an unsafe lane change, according to online court records.
Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show that she has never been incarcerated but was convicted of driving while impaired in December of 2014 in Cabarrus County, for which she was given probation.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]