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Armed Sovereign Citizen Plots to Takeover Georgia Courthouse, Injures Deputy

A self-avowed sovereign citizen is dead after he declared war on a Georgia courthouse.

Dennis Marx walked into the Forsyth County courthouse at approximately 10:30 on Friday morning brandishing heavy weapons and intending to takeover the government building and possibly blow it up.

“He came here with the purpose of occupying the courthouse,” Sheriff Duane Piper said, pointing out the sovereign citizen brought water and other supplies, as well as buckets of homemade explosives, with the intent of being able to survive a long siege and take innocent lives.

After barring entrance to the facility to other cars, Marx opened fire on the courthouse from inside his SUV and tried to run over a deputy.

“From the video, it looks like he saw that deputy [and] swerved to try and run over the deputy. The deputy engaged him. He was shooting at Mr. Marx in the vehicle, Mr. Marx was shooting through the windshield at the deputy,” Piper said.

Ultimately, the deputy shot into Marx’s vehicle, killing him and stopping the attack.

The sheriff heralded the officer, who was wounded in the shoot-out, as a hero.

“It would be a guess to think how many lives he saved had he not engaged him right there,” Piper said. “Mr. Marx’s intention was to get inside that front door and to take hostages.”

The assailant was a well-known sovereign citizen and gun dealer in the area. He was also due in court on Friday on marijuana and firearms charges.

His former attorney also said he showed signs of having a mental breakdown in the days leading up to his court date.

“His emotional state was very fragile. He was very sensitive, very, very, scared. He has no prior criminal history. He was obsessed with not going to jail,” Marx’s former attorney Ann Shafer said.

Marx also planned far in advance for the attack on the courthouse. When officers searched his home they found Marx had booby-trapped his residence and basically turned it into a giant bomb, hoping to lure law enforcement into a deadly trap.

Photo Credit: Police File Photo

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Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.