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Bertollini sought after missing court
Judge issues warrant, delays racist's trial on DUI charges
The Spokesman-Review, July 7, 2001
SANDPOINT _ Vincent Bertollini is a wanted man.
On Friday, 1st District Court Judge James Michaud issued a bench warrant for Bertollini's arrest.
Bertollini, a self-described evangelist who's best-known for his anti-Semitic mailings and support of Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler, was scheduled to go on trial next week on a felony drunken driving charge.
A pre-trial hearing was set for Friday, but Bertollini failed to show up.
It's the second hearing he failed to attend. In addition to issuing a bench warrant for Bertollini's arrest, Michaud also vacated the trial set for next week.
No one was at Friday's hearing to represent Bertollini, because Bertollini is representing himself.
He's believed to be out of town, recovering from eye surgery.
Bertollini filed a motion June 19 requesting a continuance of the trial until July 18. In his motion, he explained that he had "highly invasive eye surgery" in Washington state to correct a separated retina.
The surgery was unsuccessful, and so he needed further procedures by another eye specialist in yet another state, he said in his motion. Bertollini filed the motion while out of town, and stated he expected he would not be able to travel for four weeks.
Michaud denied the motion, stating it failed to provide any documentation supporting his reasons for a continuance.
So he offered Bertollini an opportunity to provide a statement from the surgeon or medical records during a hearing scheduled for June 27. Bertollini failed to appear at that hearing, and his motion was denied.
Bertollini is representing himself because he says he cannot find a lawyer willing to represent him. He turned down the court's offer of a court-appointed attorney.
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