Jury finds man who sent manifesto to the White House guilty on all counts

Posted at 3:44 PM, Jan 30, 2018

A Rock County jury on Tuesday found 33-year old Joseph Jakubowski guilty of three felonies in connection with a break-in at a Town of Janesville gun store last year.

Following the verdict, prosecutor Richard Sullivan said he believes the jury faced an easy decision.

“I think justice was done, for sure,” Sullivan said.

The defense didn’t contest Sullivan’s allegation that Jakubowski broke into Armageddon Supplies in Janesville last April and stole 18 firearms.

However, defense attorney Michael Murphy hoped the jury would agree that Jakubowski did not do so with intent to arm himself with a dangerous weapon.

That was one of three charges Jakubowski faced during this week’s trial in Rock County.

After roughly 90 minutes of deliberation, the jury found him guilty of all charges.

“Joe didn’t want me to make him out to be a liar,” Murphy said. “He’s admitted it throughout this whole thing. He’s honest. You can definitely say that about the guy.”

Jakubowski will be sentenced at the end of February.

Late last year, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison by a federal court in connection with the same burglary.

Attorneys Tuesday said it will be up to the judge to decide if Jakubowski’s sentence will be served consecutively or concurrently to the federal one.

Murphy said he’s hoping a concurrent sentence would be served in state court.

“Conditions at a state prison, especially in Wisconsin, are much better than at a federal prison,” Murphy said.

Sullivan said it was too early to guess at what type of sentence the state will recommend.

He added he agrees with Murphy that Jakubowski didn’t intend to use the stolen firearms to harm anyone.

However, he said the number of guns stolen presented a danger to the community.

“I think anyone who steals that many firearms is a danger,” Murphy said.

Jakubowski will remain in custody in the Rock County Jail while he awaits sentencing.

Authorities allege that, following the burglary, Jakubowski led them on a 10-day manhunt that ended when he was found camping on private land about 130 miles Northwest of Janesville.

Investigators said Jakubowski also sent a 161-page manifesto detailing anti-government sentiments to the White House.

But he disputed one of the state’s charges, which accuses the defendant of arming himself with a dangerous weapon.

Murphy said Jakubowski aimlessly snatched at different firearms and ammunition and loaded them into a bag without taking notice of whether the ammunition even matched the guns.

“You can use your common sense to tell us whether that’s arming himself or whether that’s just theft,” Murphy said.

“Mr. Jakubowski is a thief. He’s not a terrorist,” his attorney added.

Sullivan said it’s clear Jakubowski was stealing for the purpose of arming himself with firearms — including a fully automatic rifle.

He thinks surveillance video from the gun store, as well as DNA evidence recovered inside, both prove that Jakubowski burglarized the gun shop.

“I think this is a very easy decision for you to make,” Sullivan told the jury in his closing argument. “The evidence was uncontroverted.”

“There was no evidence presented that contradicted what the state showed you,” the Prosecutor added.

Sullivan also said Jakubowski confessed to burglarizing the gun store in a previous court proceeding.

Jakubowski is charged with three felonies in Rock County in connection with the alleged burglary.

Tuesday’s closing arguments followed a full day of court on Monday.

The prosecution called a total of three witnesses.

A Rock County Sheriff’s detective walked jurors through surveillance video showing a man, who Detective Ronald Betley said was Jakubowski, breaking into and ransacking the gun store. The man is seen in the video yanking long guns off of a wall and clearing out handguns from a glass case.

The man in the video stashes the firearms into a duffle bag.

Betley added that Jakubowski “freely admitted” being in the gun store and seizing the weapons during an interview with investigators after he was taken into custody.

The gun store’s owner also testified about the 18 guns, as well as silencers, ammunition, and magazines, that were missing from the building after it was burglarized last April.

Finally, a DNA analyst was called to the stand and said that, in his opinion, DNA recovered inside of the gun store belonged to Jakubowski.

After originally planning to testify in his own defense, Jakubowski refused to be sworn in on the stand, and the defense rested without calling a single witness.

“I will give (jurors) the truth but I will not raise my right hand,” Jakubowski said from the witness stand.

“Then you will not testify,” the judge replied.

Jakubowski’s attorney walked up to the witness stand and whispered something in his ear.

But whatever was said did not change the defendant’s mind.

“So he elects not to testify?” Judge James Daley asked.

“He does,” replied Jakubowski’s attorney.

This week’s trial is Jakubowski’s second in connection with the burglary at the gun store.

Late last year, he was found guilty in federal court and sentenced to 14 years in prison for stealing firearms and silencers from a federally-licensed dealer, as well as for being a felon in possession of firearms and silencers.