Max Misch Pleads Not Guilty to Possessing High-Capacity Magazines | Off Message

Max Misch Pleads Not Guilty to Possessing High-Capacity Magazines

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Max Misch at a press conference about the investigation into harassment of former state representative Kiah Morris last month - LISA RATHKE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Lisa Rathke/Associated Press
  • Max Misch at a press conference about the investigation into harassment of former state representative Kiah Morris last month
Max Misch pleaded not guilty Thursday in Bennington to two charges of possessing illegal large-capacity magazines.

As a condition of his release, the 36-year-old Bennington man may not possess firearms, ammunition or gun accessories while the case is pending. He was also ordered not to contact former Bennington state representative Kiah Morris, her husband, or a third individual named in a police affidavit.

State police seized two 30-round magazines from Misch's residence Wednesday while executing a search warrant, according to the Vermont Attorney General's office.



A 2018 state law banned as of October 1, 2018, the acquisition and possession of magazines that contain more than 10 rounds for a long gun or 15 rounds for a handgun. (Magazines that were lawfully obtained prior to the new law are exempted.)

The two misdemeanor charges each carry a potential penalty of up to one year in jail and a $500 fine.

Attorney General T.J. Donovan, whose office is prosecuting the case, summarized the court's order to Seven Days. Donovan described contents of the state's affidavit for probable cause. Donovan said the AG's office received a tip the week of January 22 from a law enforcement source who alleged Misch had traveled to New Hampshire to buy banned magazines.

Barely a week earlier, Donovan had announced that he did not have grounds to charge Misch for his racist online harassment campaign against Morris. Misch, an avowed white nationalist, crashed the press conference the AG held at Congregation Beth El synagogue, where Morris was present.

While investigating the tip about Misch's magazine purchase, Vermont State Police learned that a therapist had called the Bennington Police Department in October to alert the department that a woman she was treating had stated concern about Misch's collection of guns and ammunition and his "predatory and intimidating behavior."

Donovan said Bennington police did not disclose the therapist's phone call to his office during its months-long investigation into the racial harassment of Morris.

Asked whether he thought the call should have been disclosed, Donovan replied, "Yes."

"Right now, we're focused on prosecuting this case," he added.

Correction, March 5, 2019: Details of the new gun law were misstated in a previous version of this story.