MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) — Property and gun rights advocates have made a folk hero of New Hampshire farmer Ward Bird, who was convicted and imprisoned for brandishing a handgun at a woman who trespassed on his remote hilltop land.
Their "Free Ward Bird" campaign has ignited support among townsfolk and strangers. Libertarian and tea party websites decry his mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence. Protests and vigils are trumpeted on Facebook pages devoted to his case.
Bird is a married father of two children. He hangs his hope for freedom on a pardon by Democratic Gov. John Lynch.
But a pardon is a rarity in New Hampshire. Lynch hears Bird's case Jan. 19 with a five-member Executive Council.
Bird tells The Associated Press he doesn't want to be anyone's cause. He just wants to go home.
© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.