DETROIT (WXYZ) - Controversial Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones left Dearborn Saturday after unsuccessfully staging a protest outside of the Islamic American Center, but not before vowing to return the following week for another protest.
Jones and his associate Wayne Sapp left for Florida, but say they'll hold a protest at 5:00p.m. next Friday. This time, however, it will not be at the Islamic center, it will be at the courthouse. Jones says his constitutional rights were denied when he was arrested and unable to protest on Friday.
The development came after a jury found a proposed protest by Jones and his associate Wayne Sapp outside the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in the United States, was likely to breach the peace and incite violence.
The jury began debating the case at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The main issue of the one day trial was whether or not Jones's main purpose was to say or do something that would incite violence. They came back with their verdict shortly after 6:30 p.m.
Based on the decision Jones was required to submit a peace bond. The judge set the bond at $1. He also ordered that neither Jones nor his associate could enter the property of the Islamic Center of America or the area surrounding it for 3 years.
The judge then asked both men if they were prepared to post their bonds. Both men refused and were taken into custody. They were due to be taken to the Wayne County Jail until their bond was posted. It is not known who posted the bonds.
At the start of Friday’s trial, prosecutors presented their arguments before the jury. They argued that a protest outside the mosque would pose a significant safety issue. They also argued that there is concern from authorities that someone may get hurt.
In addition to concerns of safety, prosecutors say the Florida pastor would not be following the law if he held a protest outside the mosque after he was denied a permit for that particular location. He was asked to hold his protest in a permit free zone, but insisted that they would still hold their protest outside of the mosque.
Jones spoke in court and argued that he has the First Amendment right to protest outside the mosque.
“I believe… they will try and show you many pictures of events trying to paint us into a [certain] light. There are possible things we did concerning Quran and the burning of the Quran which you possibly may not agree with. One thing I think we have to remember, this is to a certain extent a First Amendment issue,” said Jones.
During his opening statement before the jury, Jones talked about the charges they make against the Quran.
"“The burning of the Quran is obviously to some people offensive. We charge the Quran in three ways; the Quran is charged with the training and promoting of…activities around the world; the Quran is charged with the death, rape and torture of people worldwide whose only crime is not being Muslim; the Quran is charged with crimes against women…against minorities, against Christians with the promoting of prejudice and racism against anyone who is not a Muslim," said Jones.
The pastor's associate, Wayne Sapp, is also in court to testify about their intent to hold the protest. He told the court they have no intention of causing any violence. When questioned by prosecutors, Sapp said they planned to hold the protest regardless of the outcome of today's proceedings. Sapp was also questioned by Terry Jones, who is representing himself in the case.
Prosecutors also brought up safety concerns about Terry Jones carrying a firearm after his weapon accidentally discharged in the parking lot at Detroit TV State WJBK Thursday night. No one was injured.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad also took the stand to testify. Chief Haddad denied the permit request that would allow the protest to take place outside of the mosque. He testified that there were concerns over safety.
Terry Jones also questioned Chief Haddad. He referred to a conversation he had with the Chief and asked him what his impression was after they had met. Chief Haddad responded that Jones was cordial and did not appear to be violent in nature.
The prosecutors wrapped up their case in the morning before the court’s lunch break.
Jones and Sapp called two witnesses after that break then rested their case. Their witnesses included a Texas Pastor who has protested with Jones before and a Rabbi who said he would join their protest at the Islamic Center of America.
After a short break closing arguments began.
During their closing arguments the lawyer for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office argued, "Just because we have the first amendment doesn't mean you can say anything or do anything at any time." He then referenced the fact that you cannot yell "Fire" in a crowded theater because that poses a danger to the people inside.
Prosecutors then went on to describe the conditions in the area and the problems that they say would make Jones' protest dangerous. They include limited access for rescue